Sweden Textile Water Initiative

Sweden Textile Water Initiative started in 2010 as a joint project between textile and leather retail companies in Sweden together with Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI). As of 1 January 2013, 33 companies have joined STWI. SIWI acts as the host / secretariat of STWI.

In a world with an increasing pressure on natural resources, notably freshwater, and with an increasing lack of the trust needed in a sustainable society - the continuous success of companies relies on their ability to transform their operations, and the operations of their suppliers to meet sustainable business criteria. Sweden has a long tradition as thought leader in the field of sustainability, which is reflected in the determination of the Swedish textile sector to make a difference by getting together to create joint action for better water management in their supply chains.

Upgraded STWI Guidelines now available

The Swedish Textile Water Initiative is proud to launch an upgraded edition of its guidelines for sustainable water use in textile and leather manufacturing processes, as well as an upgraded short summary of these guidelines. In the upgraded version, published in September 2014, enhancements are included to increase the guidelines’ applicability to current industrial water challenges. Such enhancements  includes tools to help factories, brands and other potential users of these guidelines apply them practically.

17-141 STWI Guidelines Summary-WEB  17-141 STWI Guidelines Leather-WEB  17-141 STWI Guidelines Textile-WEB

A key principle of these Guidelines is the value of prevention. Reducing water and chemical use early in the production process is cheaper and more productive than exclusive focus on wastewater treatment. It also means that substantial economic benefits are within easy reach for manufacturers that use water more wisely.

Since the publishing of the STWI Guidelines in 2011, the issue of water scarcity has only been exacerbated; and the importance of disposing of water in a safe manner is increasing. These actions are being driven by local community actions, greater government enforcement of water related compliance in several parts of the globe, and pressure from global NGOs looking at this issue. That only increases the relevance and applicability of the STWI guidelines.

Phase 2 (2013 - 2015)

The STWI group embarked on a new-phase starting at the beginning of 2013. Since the beginning of this phase, STWI become financially independent and funded completely by the member companies. Several initiatives to test the implementation of these guidelines by member companies are underway. The group is currently finalizing its goals for this period, which revolve around means to test the applicability and usefulness of STWI guidelines along their supply chains.

Phase 1 (2010 - 2012)

During the initial two year process, the STWI companies formed working groups on topics such as production technique, water treatment, sludge management, and policy engagement, which served as platforms for exchanges related to the development of guidelines for sustainable water use.
 Through these working groups and other processes, the STWI companies developed guidelines for sustainable water use in the production and manufacturing processes of textiles and leather. STWI published its joint guidelines for sustainable water and chemical use in the supply chains.


Read the short version of the guidelines here.
The STWI Guidelines have been developed by the STWI members in collaboration with several experts, including Maria Jonstrup, SWECO, Stefan Posner, SWEREA and Stefan Rydin, NORDEConsult.


Translation from the original English-language STWI Guidelines document is encouraged and should be made be publically available under the same Creative Commons Licence; however, while reasonable efforts are made to provide accurate translations, portions may be incorrect. No liability is assumed by STWI for any errors, omissions, or ambiguities in the translations provided. Any person or entity that relies on translated content does so at their own risk. STWI shall not be liable for any losses caused by reliance on the accuracy, reliability, or timeliness of translated information. If you would like to report a translation error or inaccuracy or suggest a more appropriate contextual understanding, please contact us.

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