Many of us take it for granted, but water is essential for life. As an apparel company, water is also critical to our business because creating garments requires water. World Water Day provides an opportunity to not only celebrate water, but to examine its importance and challenges presented by the global water crisis.
The health and economic impacts of today’s global water crisis are staggering. Consider this (statistics courtesy of Water.org):
- More than 840,000 people die annually from a water-related disease. That’s more than the entire city of San Francisco.
- 750 million people (about 1 in 9) lack access to clean water — that’s almost 2.5 times the United States population.
- Lack of access to clean water and sanitation kills children at a rate equivalent to a jumbo jet crashing every ten hours.
- Women and children spend 140 million hours each day collecting water. This is equivalent to building 20 empire state buildings each day.
- An estimated $260 billion is lost globally each year due to lack of adequate water supply and sanitation.
As a company, we’re trying to do our part to reduce water usage in the areas of our supply chain we control. We’re also trying to encourage those who consume our products to understand their impact and do their part by washing less.
The below graphic shows how the simple act of washing jeans less can have a significant impact and save enough water to meet the needs of millions of people around the world. There is much work to be done when it comes to providing access to safe, clean water to those who need it, but every drop counts and no action is too small.