Achieving Reductions through Investments in Water Efficiency and Reuse
In 2016, Wrangler celebrated a milestone of three billion liters of water saved since 2007, and the announcement of a goal to reduce water usage at its facilities by 20 percent by the year 2020. The three billion liters saved equals the annual household water needs of more than 21,000 Americans.
“Wrangler has always had a strong connection to the land, and a commitment to protecting our natural resources for future generations,” said Tom Waldron, president of Wrangler. “Now, we are expanding our water stewardship program goals to further help reduce our impacts and conserve the water resources of the communities where we operate.”
The 2020 goal applies to all facilities that perform the water-intensive finishing processes for Wrangler products and targets a 20% reduction from a 2012 baseline. Water plays a significant role in the manufacturing of denim. The finishing steps in producing a pair of jeans typically require multiple water baths to obtain desired color and styling. By merging steps and using efficient enzyme technologies, Wrangler reduced water use without compromising quality. This improved wash down process combined with increased water recycling yielded this significant resource conservation.
Wrangler’s water recycling program invested in advanced wastewater treatment systems to improve effluent water quality. This allows treated water to cycle back through the system. For example, the company’s owned Torreon facility in northern Mexico has achieved a 45 percent water-recycling rate. The treatment plant uses naturally occurring microorganisms to feed on the organic particles in the wastewater in a sequential batch reactor, breaking them down before the water is treated with disc filtration. The company plans to invest in additional technology at the site to achieve a 75 percent recycling rate by 2018.
Wrangler first pioneered a major water conservation effort with its water miser program a decade ago. This finishing process applied detergent more strategically, reducing the water used in the company’s wash formulas by up to 28 percent, a technique that was then applied globally across internal manufacturing.
This commitment to ensure high wastewater quality applies to both owned facilities and contract suppliers, which are required to meet Wrangler’s water quality standards or local standards, whichever are stricter.
The company has also reduced water use at its facilities by utilizing efficient fixtures, optimizing water pressure and using drought-resistant plants in landscaping.