How Swedish Brands Cut Indian Textile’s Eco-Impact


Sustainable Water Resources (SWAR), suppliers to the Swedish retail brands Indiska, KappAhl and Lindex have reduced their environmental impact and improved capacity through training on resource effi ciency at a textile factory in Noida, UP. The factory has since reinvested its savings in new technology which ensures efficient use of natural resources.

The SWAR project is a cooperation between the Swedish brands and their Indian suppliers, the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), Sida, and India-based consultancy cKinetics. SWAR was co-financed by the brands and Sida, in a public-private partnership that linked business and international development goals.

More than 40 factories participated in the project.

The project has contributed to saving 284 million liters of water and 402 tons of chemicals annually. The factories were also able to save an average of three per cent of their energy cost and three per cent of their operational costs. The project trained more than 13,000 factory workers and managers in the past two years.

 The Indian textile industry contributes three per cent to India’s GDP and employs more than 45 million people. The industry is one of the largest industrial water polluters in India, and is facing serious growth limitations due to increasing freshwater shortage.

SWAR has inspired SIWI, Sida, the piloting brands and an additional 16 Swedish fashion brands to catalyse a shift toward sustainable production and continuous learning in major production hubs in Asia and Africa.

Started in 2015, the project is scaling up to include several Indian states and four other countries in the world. It involves more than 120 suppliers globally and is a part of the project Sweden Textile Water Initiative, STWI.

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