Fashion Gets Creative About the Global Water Shortage

For the fashion industry, access to water is essential.

As drought conditions worsen, and as water use is predicted to increase by 50 percent between 2007 and 2025 in developing countries and by 18 percent in developed ones, “there is a growing awareness of the potential challenges that come from increasing competition for this finite resource,” Reuters reports.

Despite fears of losing money on new investments, water conservation has become a major industry focus, forcing companies to think outside the box and hire creatives who might once have been considered “risky.”

Floating farms that use desalinized ocean water to grow crops or dye houses attempting to reuse their dye water might sound futuristic, but these forward-thinking initiatives are taking place right now worldwide.

So, Why Should You Care? Almost 60 percent of 500 global companies have already experienced the detrimental impacts of water, according to the Carbon Disclosure Project’sGlobal Water Report for 2013. In 2011, for example, the Gap was forced to cut its profit forecast by 22 percent after drought cut into cotton crops in Texas. Fashion mega-houses Primark and New Look, fearing looming water regulations, have embraced China’s water-conserving Better Mill Initiative.

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