Certifying reductions in Iskur Denim’s water use

In a water intensive sector, we have worked with Iskur Denim since 2018 to establish its water consumption footprint and to certify reductions in water use for its novel denim manufacturing process.

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Rope dye Iskur Denim

Client: Iskur Denim

Service: The Carbon Trust Standard for Water

Outcomes:  

  • Certified Iskur Denim’s water consumption footprint and year-on-year reductions
  • Provided advice on areas for ongoing improvement

What was the challenge?

Denim manufacturing is infamously water intensive – thousands of litres of water are required to manufacture just one pair of jeans. Iskur Denim, established in 2016, has put sustainability at the heart of its business model, and is committed to reducing water consumption, from raw material selection through to the dyeing phase. 

Iskur Denim’s material production begins with organic cotton or cotton certified by the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), which it grows itself on 2.5km2 of agricultural land. The company also uses a combination of different fibres in its denim weave to supplement the need for cotton, which is an extremely water intensive crop. 

Iskur Denim has also invested in the ‘We-are-Water’ dyeing process, instead of conventional dyeing, which has been shown to create water savings of 98.4%. To reduce waste and create efficiencies, the company has a recycling facility, where waste from its textile facilities is collected, recycled and used as fibre and it collects and recycles jeans after consumer use. 

To ensure continued innovation, Iskur Denim has a dedicated research and development team that is working with industry partners and universities on projects to further reduce water use such as reusing dyes and using different polymers and fixing agents.

Given the company’s commitment to achieving water consumption reductions, Iskur Denim wanted to be able to credibly communicate this with its customers. It, therefore, chose to work with the Carbon Trust in order to verify and certify the reductions it has achieved – providing independent assurance of the reductions that could be easily understood by consumers.  

How did we help?

We began by measuring Iskur Denim’s water footprint using 2017 data, establishing a baseline from which to chart progress. We also assessed management practices and provided advice on areas where further improvements could be made. We did this for Iskur Denim’s own operations, but also its products, to clearly quantify reductions for customers.

Continuing to gather data in the following two years, Iskur Denim was able to demonstrate a reduction in its water footprint of 22.3% between 2017 and 2019, achieving the Carbon Trust Standard for Water in 2019. 

This certification is a mark of excellence that is only valid for two years; companies must continue to demonstrate reductions in order to be re-certified.

What were the benefits?

“Water is life and extremely important for the continuity of life. Every decision on water consumption is vital for this reason. Our company is becoming more aware of water management across its business and it has become one of our basic principles to produce high quality products while consuming as little water as possible,” says Özlem Özkan, Head of Research & Product Development, Iskur Denim.

“We chose to work with the Carbon Trust because of its world-leading experience in footprinting, giving us confidence in the credible communication of the water impacts of our denim manufacturing operations. We also now have an accurate baseline, which we can use to measure the progress of our strategy to reduce water use going forward,” added Özkan.

“The conservation of natural resources and the concept of sustainability are issues which are not only important to manufacturers, but also to our customers. The fact that our company has the Carbon Trust Standard for Water certification attracts the attention of the companies that buy our products and we have received positive feedback from them.”