Corporate Culture

How We Count Every Drop, to Give More than is Taken

by ABFRLadmin | June 5, 2024

Recycle, reuse and rejuvenation – the key steps on our journey to becoming a Water-Positive Fashion Brand.

On World Environment Day 2024, the theme of “land restoration, desertification, and drought resilience” reminds us of the delicate balance between our planet’s resources and the need to protect them. We recognize that water is a cornerstone of this balance, and its sustainable management is critical for not only the environment but also the future of the fashion industry.

An essential resource by every metric, water is used across every step of the textile manufacturing process – for example, a single cotton t-shirt can use up to 2,700 liters of water as it moves from source to shelf. Which means even when the tide is in full flow, every drop still counts. Here’s how we navigate the challenges of water management and give back more than we take-

The Challenge: Water and the Fashion Industry
The problem on paper is apparent to us all and impossible to deny – the fashion industry has a significant water footprint across the supply chain. From cultivating cotton to dyeing fabrics, the production of clothing can consume vast amounts of freshwater. Traditional dyeing processes, for example, can require hundreds of liters of water per kilogram of fabric. This not only depletes freshwater resources but also generates wastewater laden with chemicals.

Saving through Stewardship: A Two-Pronged Approach
We are constantly committed to minimizing its water footprint and building a more sustainable future. Our water-saving strategy focuses on two key areas that focuses on benefits to both the bottom line, and our people:

  1. Water Optimization within our Operations
  2. Water Conservation in Local Communities

Within Our Walls: Balancing the Books
Across our manufacturing facilities, top of the line innovation has ensured a healthy balance between consumption and conservation:

Minimize Mistakes, Maximize Efficiency: 
We continuously optimize our production processes to minimize water consumption through manufacturing errors. A robust leak detection system that runs 24×7, identifies and addresses potential leaks promptly, preventing water wastage.

Wastewater Treatment and Reuse: We don’t believe in a “one-and-done” approach to water. A significant portion of our wastewater undergoes advanced treatment through multi-stage filtration systems. This treated wastewater is then reused for non-potable purposes within our facilities, such as landscaping and cooling towers. This approach reduces our reliance on freshwater and minimizes the environmental impact of wastewater disposal.

Embracing Technology for Sustainable Management:
Technology plays a crucial role in our water conservation efforts. We leverage IoT (Internet of Things) and cloud-based services to achieve real-time monitoring of our water systems. This allows for:

  • Predictive Maintenance: By analyzing water flow, pressure, and quality data, we can identify potential issues before they occur, preventing disruptions and ensuring optimal water utilization.
  • Targeted Improvements: Real-time data helps us pinpoint areas with the highest water consumption, allowing us to focus our efforts on implementing targeted efficiency measures.

The Impact: Achieving Water Positivity
ABFRL’s commitment to water conservation has yielded impressive results. We are proud to announce that we have achieved a water-positive status. This means that through our various conservation and rejuvenation efforts, we are able to replenish more water than we consume in our operations. In simpler terms, for every liter of water we use, we put back more than a liter into the environment. This achievement demonstrates our dedication to responsible water stewardship and paves the way for a more sustainable future for the fashion industry.

Beyond the Factory Walls: Empowering Communities
ABFRL’s water stewardship efforts extend beyond our manufacturing facilities. We understand that the well-being of local communities is intricately linked to the health of water resources. By partnering with communities in water-stressed areas, we are working together to ensure a sustainable future:

  • Community Rainwater Harvesting: We collaborate with local NGOs and government agencies to establish rainwater harvesting systems in water-scarce villages. These systems provide a reliable source of clean water for the community and contribute to replenishing groundwater reserves. This ensures long-term water security for future generations.
  • Borewell Recharge Pits: These strategically placed pits capture excess rainwater and channel it back into the ground, effectively recharging the vital groundwater reserves that sustain entire communities.
  • Clean Drinking Water Access: We install water purification plants in villages facing water quality challenges. This ensures access to safe drinking water, preventing waterborne diseases and improving the overall health of the community.

Measurable Impact: Quantifying Our Efforts
ABFRL’s water stewardship efforts have resulted in significant reductions in water consumption and positive impacts on local communities.

  • Water Positivity: Across our operations, we achieve 68% water recycling and reuse, equating to 135,118 kl of wastewater treated and reused within our premises. Additionally, 53% of our water usage, with 104,878 kl of rainwater stored and reused/artificially recharged within our premises. These combined efforts contribute significantly to our water-positive status.

Community Impact:
Our community water stewardship programs have a measurable impact on the lives of people in water-stressed areas:

  • Rainwater Harvesting: Community rainwater harvesting projects in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Odisha have conserved approximately 64,934 kl of water. This translates to a significant reduction in pressure on local freshwater resources and a more reliable water supply for these communities.
  • Water ATMs: All 8 Model Villages and Focus villages have access to pure and safe drinking water through Water ATMs. 14,700 people today benefit from this, with the management of this precious resource falling to senior community panchayat members, thereby ensuring their self-reliance and stability.
  • Watershed Programs: These programs have helped save or recharge around 47,864 kl of water, benefiting over 16,681 community members. By replenishing groundwater reserves and promoting sustainable water management practices, these programs ensure long-term water security for entire communities.

The world needs fashion, but fashion needs a sustainable future. At ABFRL, we are committed to weaving a future where style meets sustainability. By prioritizing water conservation, empowering communities, and continuously innovating, we are working towards a future where fashion can thrive in harmony with our planet.

Our Highlight Reel:

  • Water positive across operations with 68% of water recycled and reused.
  • 135,118 kl of wastewater treated and reused within premises.
  • 53% renewable water usage (104,878 kl rainwater stored and reused).
  • Water positive across operations with 68% of water recycled and reused
  • Community rainwater harvesting programs conserved approximately 64,934 kl of water.
  • Net Zero Facilities improved water efficiency by 30-50%.
  • Watershed programs saved/recharged around 47,864 kl of water, benefiting 16,681 community members.

ABFRL’s water stewardship efforts demonstrate a commitment to environmental responsibility and a deep understanding of the interconnectedness between fashion and the environment. By focusing on water conservation, community empowerment, and continuous improvement, we’re making sure every drop will count, in more ways than one!

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