Global fashion retailer Gap Inc. has announced a new partnership with its long-time sourcing and franchise partner in India, Arvind Limited, to drive industry-leading solutions that address global water scarcity.
As part of the collaboration, Gap Inc and Arvind will open a new innovation centre to promote the adoption of proven techniques and technology that reduce water use by the textile manufacturing industry. Further, both companies are also investing in a new water treatment facility that will eliminate the use of fresh water at Arvind’s denim mill in Ahmedabad, India. The facility will save three billion litres of fresh water by the end of 2020 and preserve the local community’s vital freshwater resources.
“The world is facing a water crisis, and Gap Inc. is committed to finding meaningful, scalable ways to reduce our water use. Traditionally, manufacturing apparel has been a water intensive, water wasting process,” said Art Peck, president and CEO, Gap Inc. “This partnership with Arvind Limited is an important step towards changing that, and we look forward to collaborating across the industry to accelerate the transformation to more efficient and sustainable water use practices.”
As water becomes increasingly scarce due to climate change and growing human needs, the apparel industry is facing pressure to reduce its demand for fresh water. When it opens in 2020, the new centre will be an innovation hub for apparel companies, manufacturing suppliers and vendors, sustainability experts, academics and other environmental stakeholders to advance and scale water stewardship across the apparel sector. The 18,000-sqft space will feature installations that showcase water management best practices and recycling technologies; a library; lab space to develop water management solutions as well as classroom training and conference space. Once completed, the centre will generate scalable solutions that can be replicated at other mills and laundries.
“Arvind is committed to eliminating the use of fresh water from its textile production operations. We have made significant investments in water reduction and recycling activities over the past two decades,” added Punit Lalbhai, executive director, Arvind Limited. “Gap Inc. is our key strategic customer and this partnership is valuable for us to achieve our water goals collectively. The partnership will also help in expanding scope of water savings to the broader industry through Centre of Excellence.”