A water management project among textile suppliers in India, led by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) and Swedish fashion brands Indiska, KappAhl and Lindex, has demonstrated how efficient resource management in textile production in India can achieve environmental improvements and financial gains.

By implementing resource-efficiency recommendations in production lines, savings in energy, chemicals and water consumption, cost savings in production and an improved environmental impact were achieved, according to the organizations. The Sustainable Water Resources Management (SWAR) project restructured production costs, with water flow becoming a cost-carrier.

In Delhi the region alone, project partners implemented 85 different “low-hanging fruit” recommendations suggested by SWAR. The results included a 765 percent return on investment in one year and an average payback time of 11 days per project.

In water-scarce Delhi, the project reduced total water consumption by an annual 84.5 million liters, or 6.6 percent. It reduced electricity use by 3.4 percent, fuel by 4 percent and chemicals by 14 percent at supplier and sub-supplier levels. This resulted in an annual 1.7 percent saving in production costs for all 35 units.

The recommendations include applying best practices such as right-first-time chemical dyeing procedures, rainwater harvesting, effective wastewater treatment and reuse as well as efficient boiler heating cycles.