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Fashioning with Responsible Water Use

Values, CompanyDanielle Samaniego, Gap Inc. bloggerComment

Great clothes starts with great fabric and the mill is where we can have great environmental impact.

We are nothing without our fabric.

So when it comes to the production of the materials that make up Gap Inc.'s clothes, manufacturing responsibly is key. For more than a decade, the company has done its part to put best practices into place around responsible water use.

Gap Inc.'s Water Quality Program, launched in 2004, requires denim laundries the company works with to adhere to strict guidelines on wastewater. Building on that program's success, the recently launched Mill Sustainability Program targets strategic mills where the company has the strongest relationships.

The Mill Sustainability Program tackles dirty water and other environmental impacts in three ways: by assessing overall performance of the mill; providing outside training for management; and encouraging mills to adopt best sustainability practices. It's about influencing change.

Mills responsible for making fabrics pollute as much as 200 tons of water for every ton of fabric produced. In fact, the textile industry in China alone is responsible for about 2.5 billion tons of wastewater (and other pollutants) annually.

“The mill is really where the biggest environmental impact is happening," said Alice Hartley, Manager of Sustainable Innovation at Gap Inc. “Great product starts with great fabric, so we consider it our responsibility to understand the impacts of fabric and address them through the choices we make."