Volcom, a modern lifestyle brand that represents the creative spirit of youth culture, has announced the worldwide launch of Water Aware, a denim collection for men’s, women’s and kids. A significant milestone in Volcom’s journey to sustainability, Water Aware features a reformulated, water-saving wash and finishing process in the production of denim resulting in an average savings of 13 litres of water per jean.
Committed to addressing the environmental impacts associated with clothing production, the company has been seeking solutions for responsible manufacturing practices over the last 12 years as part of its Eco-True initiatives.
Denim is one of the brand’s largest categories, and therefore, a natural area to focus on while implementing more sustainable materials and processes. After evaluating all the stages required to produce a pair of denim jeans, the Volcom team identified the amount of water used throughout the washing and finishing processes as an opportunity to create water use efficiencies.
Volcom’s Global Design Director, J.J. Gonzales and the brand’s production team worked with factory partners to employ enzyme and ozone washing and finishing techniques. Additionally, the Volcom team has combined traditionally separate wet cycles into a single process.
Inspired by the Water<Less techniques developed by Levi’s and using its Open Source: Water Innovation guide, Volcom is encouraging other brands to also adopt these best practices. The brand is on track to reduce its water consumption by 40% and save an estimated 4 million litres of water for the remainder of 2019.
“In some washes, we’re seeing up to 35 litres of water saved. Our medium blue and blue swift colourways are examples of washes where we’ve been able to significantly save water in the production process,” said J.J. Gonzales, Volcom Global Design Director. “It’s pretty epic and we’re excited to build upon our successes and create an even greater impact over time.”
Volcom’s new Water Aware programme is also stoneless, which means the production process for denim no longer uses pumice stone in the wash process. This omission is said to have additional benefits ranging from less water used, cleaner wastewater, no heavy machinery operated to mine the pumice stone and resulting in less energy consumption overall. Volcom is also using a laser finishing technique, which is also positively contributing to diminishing its environmental impact.
Water Aware is the next chapter in Volcom’s ethical and sustainability efforts following its Fair Labor Association accreditation and the introduction of more sustainable materials including organic cotton, Repreve’s hemp fibres and Econyl’s recycled fibres.