What Does Water Mean to a Pakistani Denim Mill?

June 4, 2021
the Editorial Team
Banner for World Water Day
From growing cotton to dyeing fibres to laundering finished jeans, producing denim consumes a massive amount of water. Read on to learn more about how we're managing our water uptake as a denim mill in a country predicted to become one of the most water-stressed countries in South Asia.

Almost 30 million Pakistanis have no access to clean water and water scarcity has been at the centre of that narrative, however, at Neela we have come to realise that it's not scarcity that's the problem. Instead, it's water mismanagement. 22 March, 2021 marks World Water Day, and this year's theme is 'Valuing Water'.

The Idea of water, especially industrial use of water needs to be reframed. More than a right or resource it needs to be an economic and environmental priority, central to the growth and prosperity of established businesses all around the world.

As the denim industry works towards achieving its aggressive sustainability targets, companies should look to the greatest minds in technology and design to achieve their goals. At Neela, that means developing technology that significantly improves water management. We describe this new technology as Purify Dyeing.

Purify Dyeing Technology
is a solution that takes up fewer chemicals and no salt, which is seldom seen in conventional indigo dyeing methods. Given the underlying chemistry, Purify can recover up to 100 percent indigo, making it a substantially better indigo dyeing alternative than what already exists in the market.

Further, the dye process leaves behind clean and recyclable effluent without any salt by product, a significant accomplishment for the industry, as conventional systems can be much more wasteful and damaging to the environment.

Overall, this technology uses 15 percent less energy, 40 percent less steam and results in fewer chemicals and less organic matter decay in effluent water compared to salt-based dyeing methods and ultimately saving up to 90% of fresh water.

Limited chemical usage in Purify Dyeing Process helps cotton fibres retain its inherent elasticity and softness while speeding up the wash process. Thus, making the fabric more laser friendly, which ultimately contributes to water savings at the garment washing stage.

The conservation of water is a key area of focus for Neela, which is why we choose to adopt technology that puts sustainability first while offering high quality fabrics at a competitive price.