Primary Functions:

  • Learn best water management practices specific to textile mills

Purpose: Provide Sector Specific Support
Scope: Facility / River Basin
Type: Discussion Paper Guidance
Sectors: Apparel

Resource Overview:

In homes spread the globe over hang curtains at windows and clothing in closets made in developing countries like China, India and Bangladesh. Those everyday items are created in mills that chronically waste water and fuel and can pollute up to 200 tons of water for every one ton of fabric produced. As the textile market booms, this ubiquitous industry’s massive environmental footprint does more than impact our shopping habits. China’s textile sector alone emits more carbon than most countries.

Since most developing countries like China lack the governmental capacity to monitor manufacturing or enforce environmental standards, NRDC partnered with seven multinational apparel retailers and brands to launch the Responsible Sourcing Initiative (RSI), part of its larger Clean by Design effort. To start, in 2009-2010 NRDC worked with efficiency experts to assess real-world manufacturing practices in five typical Chinese mills. From what it learned, NRDC developed 10 Best Practices that mills can adopt to target resource inefficiencies and rapidly shrink their environmental impact — using a collection of mostly no-cost or low-cost practices.

NRDC’s 10 Best Practices for Textile Mills to Save Money and Reduce Pollution, offers a 2.0 version of NRDC’s 10 Best Practices, with projections for how much each initiative will cost mills, the payback period, and the opportunity for resource savings.

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Developed by: NRDC