Through use of sustainably sourced raw materials and introducing new and innovative technology in factories, we will continue to challenge ourselves and supplier partners to reduce, recycle and reuse 40% of our water footprint by 2030.
Being a cotton-led brand, with 72% of our products containing cotton, we are part of a sector that accounts for 70% of annual freshwater withdrawals. We already know that we can drive significant change by converting to the best organic farming practices that use up to 80% less water.
This year we started to utilise the HIGG Index, accessing their extensive data platform providing standardised measurements of material, product and value chain sustainability.
Selecting the right low impact fibres & tracking their impact
Growing and producing fibres we use in our products – from cotton through to polyester – accounts for a significant part of the product’s overall water footprint. We are focusing on switching to materials which consume less water during production, such as organic cotton, linen and Tencel.
Switching to organic farming methods: From initial mapping of the raw materials we use using the HIGG Index, we know our largest water footprint is from cotton which we use in 72% of the garments we produce.
Switching to organic has a significant impact on the amount of water used in the production of cotton, reducing raw material water consumption by 87%. This is one of the reasons that we are so passionate about converting to organic cotton - 30% of our cotton garments have already switched to organic, with all pure cotton garments moving to Organic by 2025.
Closing the loop on garment waste: Increasing the amount of fabric waste we recycle, notably in closed loop systems. Using recycled cut waste in our garments reduces their water footprint by up to 95%.
We are working with our suppliers & wet processing units to use water efficiently.
Efficient technologies and processes: There is some amazing innovation happening in this space, including the development of closed loop systems and eco wash technology which can reduce the water consumption of the wash process by over 80%. We are also working with our suppliers to ensure they are utilising the best possible technology to harvest water, with 31% of our factories already utilising rainwater harvesting systems.
Ongoing risk assessment: As part of our supply chain water risk assessment, we mapped the locations of our factories using the World Resources Institute’s (WRI) Water Scarcity database and use this map to prioritise suppliers based on levels of water scarcity. 48% factories are in areas of low to moderate water stress; 52% of our factories operate where there is moderate to high water scarcity, of these factories - 44% have installed technology to harvest and save water to date.
We know that reducing our water footprint is essential, and we want to lead positive change by collaborating with our suppliers and partners to conserve this precious natural resource.
We place the highest importance on producing our products in conditions that respect the environment and safeguard our customers - we have strict standards in place on harmful and hazardous substances.
In 2021 we joined Apparel & Footwear International RSL Management (AFIRM) and Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) to enable collaboration.
We have committed to ZDHC compliance by 2030.
We are now formulating our roadmap to eliminate any potentially harmful substances or processes from Superdry products, replacing them with more environmentally friendly alternatives, and adopting the ZDHC guidelines for the production and dyeing of viscose and other man-made cellulosic fibres.