SDG Decoded: SDG Number 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation Part III

The world may is facing a clean water crisis and the denim industry seems determined on doing its part to help.


That’s why we’re continuing our SDG Decoded series, in which we tap the denim industry to see how they’re tackling the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, with another installation of what companies are doing to tackle SDG #6.


Check out what Cone Denim, Jeanologia and Candiani are doing to advance SDG #6, and click here to find the first segment for this crucial goal.


Cone Denim

Carved in Blue: How are you tackling SDG #6?

Cone: Cone Denim and Elevate Textiles have set a target to reduce absolute water usage 25% by 2025 on a 2016 baseline. We have joined the UN CEO Water Mandate, and under this program we will be reporting annually on our actions and results related to the Mandate’s six commitment areas. Water usage is tracked by facility on a monthly basis, and each facility has established annual reduction goals in conformance with the 2025 target. We have installed equipment and processes that use less water and chemicals, including ozone technology for fabric finishing, and we continue to assess new water-saving technologies for our processes. Cone Denim operates state of the art wastewater treatment systems, and the performance of these systems is carefully tracked each day by our wastewater engineers. We believe that as a company, we have among the deepest expertise in wastewater operations and engineering in the industry, and through this expertise we ensure excellence in wastewater treatment. Cone Denim screens all input chemistry in order to eliminate restricted chemicals and any chemistry that could adversely impact wastewater treatment. Cone Denim and Elevate Textiles are installing significant capacity for wastewater recycling and reuse as a part of our strategy to meet the 2025 targets.


Carved in Blue: What does this goal mean for your company? 

Cone: Water is the “life blood” of our processes at the current time.  As a large water user, we have a responsibility to continue to be an excellent steward of our water resources. We joined the CEO Water Mandate in order to publicly declare our commitment to water stewardship, and to enhance our efforts in the communities in which we are located to ensure long term sustainability of water resources.


Carved in Blue: How do you see this shaping up for 2020? 

Cone: Cone Denim has several projects in progress that will result in significant reduction in water usage during the second half of 2020, including water use reduction and wastewater recycling.  We are very excited about these projects and the impact they will have towards commitments and targets.



Carved in Blue: How are you tackling SDG #6?

Jeanologia: Aware of the importance of water in combating climate change, the company has brought to the textile industry a set of technological solutions, building an ecosystem of collaborators, and accompanying them on their way to producing with Zero water and Zero discharge.

For World Water Day, Jeanologia, world leaders in sustainable and efficient technology development, encouraged all textile industry stakeholders to get behind its MissionZero: dehydrate and detoxify the jeans industry by 2025.

The textile industry today is responsible for 20% of the planet’s pollution. Within textile, jeans is one of the most sold garments and with the highest environmental impact during its production.

With its disruptive laser and eco technology it is possible to increase productivity, reduce water and energy consumption, while eliminating contaminated waste and harmful emissions, guaranteeing Zero pollution.


Carved in Blue: What does this goal mean for your company? 

Jeanologia: Enrique Silla, CEO at Jeanologia, has highlighted that “we believe and want jeans to continue to be an icon of rebels and freedom. Despite its dark era when it became one of the most polluting garments in the sector, with our technologies and re-engineering of jeans, it can become one of the most sustainable garments.

“From the natural fiber to the elimination of water and chemicals from the life processes of jeans, for example through the process of moving into circular economy, jeans will become the iconic garment of new generations, the NEW REBEL that wants to protect the environment and the plant.”

For Silla, Jeanologia’s founder, the digital transformation has become an opportunity to combat the major environmental problems and that is what we have done with our technology, applying it to the jeans industry and “closing the circle of the water cycle”.

Furthermore, for the company “every drop counts” in the fight against climate change, water gives life and prosperity, making its care essential for sustainable development and people’s health.


Carved in Blue: How do you see this shaping up for 2020? 

Jeanologia: Jeanologia’s vision is to be the vehicle for transforming our world, generating a positive impact in society through a new way of doing business where the end objective is not focused purely on profit.

To do so, last year it started an ecological income statement through which it measures cubic meters of contaminated water that, thanks to its technology and services, do not go into our rivers and seas. It is Europe’s first company to deliver an income statement of this type.

In 2019 the company saved more than 13 million cubic meters of water, 23% more than the previous year; the amount needed for the annual human consumption of 712,600 people. The population that a city like Athens has.

Jeanologia is a member of the United Nations Global Compact, signing up to the commitments of the 2030 Agenda and fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 6 sets as its target the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.



Carved in Blue: How are you tackling SDG #6?

Candiani: Here at Candiani, our efforts to address SDG 6, “Clean Water & Sanitation,” has been at the top of our list for quite some time. Historically, we have aimed to tackle our direct impacts as they relate to our production by engineering and employing innovative dyeing technologies–for example, N-Denim, Indigo Juice®, and Kitotex®—to reduce water consumption and the use of chemicals. Additionally, a closed-loop system allows for nearly 40% of the water used in the finishing department to be redirected for reuse in the dyeing department instead of being discarded. We believe that continual evolution and improvement is paramount. With that said, effective water management and reduction targets are going to be central to our forthcoming Sustainability Strategy, which will be expanded to also consider the sourcing of critical raw materials, such as cotton.


Carved in Blue: What does this goal mean for your company? 

Candiani: Speaking about the SDGs in general, we consider them to be a guiding light informing how we envision sustainability and put it into practice. We fully back the charter of the SDGs and believe fulfilling these goals is the ONLY way forward.


Carved in Blue: How do you see this shaping up for 2020? 

Candiani: In 2020, our sustainability work, including that to address the SDGs, will become even more granular. We have already addressed much of the “low-hanging fruit,” and so now is the time to go deeper and all fronts. The sourcing of raw materials will become even more selective, and we will continue our R&D to find the most innovative solutions to produce in a more circular and even regenerative way. We also believe it is the time to “go beyond certification.” Meaning that in spite of the indisputable merits of certification, full and honest transparency is the best way to drive sustainability and educate consumers in the process.