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Wrangler Adopts New Denim Dyeing Process That Reduces Water Usage by 99%

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Wrangler Adopts New Denim Dyeing Process That Reduces Water Usage by 99%

November 15, 2018

Wrangler® is the first denim brand to adopt a new dyeing process that reduces water consumption by using foam instead of water. This enables Wrangler to create industry-leading products in a way that respects the environment and conserves natural resources. 

Wrangler collaborated with the Walmart Foundation and Texas Tech University to develop the technology. Unlike traditional denim dying, the new technique uses dry foam to apply indigo dye to fabric – eliminating the need for water and chemical baths formerly used in the dyeing process.

“As a whole, the denim industry has been criticized for the use of water in the manufacturing process,” said Roian Atwood, Director of Sustainability, VF Jeanswear, Workwear. “With this technology, we now have the tools to dramatically reduce the amount of water we use and minimize our environmental footprint. Our sister brand Lee® was an early investor in the technology and we hope to see it widely adopted across our industry.”

Foam dyeing uses an innovative method to apply indigo to a fabric – giving the fabric its color. A process that once used 100 yards of heavy machinery and 400 gallons of water can now be accomplished with 30 yards of machinery and 3.5 gallons of water.

“The retail industry requires a commitment to innovation and pushing forward to do things differently. If we don’t continue to create and invest in the future state of our industry, we won’t have the opportunity to be a conservation leader,” said Atwood. 

This new dyeing process only furthers Wrangler’s longstanding commitment to water conservation and environmental protection. In 2016, Wrangler announced it saved 3 billion liters of water since 2007, and is committed to saving another 2.2 billion liters by 2020.

“Water is a shared resource among all industries,” said Atwood. “When we use it, we’re not only taking it away from other industries, but also the local communities where we live and work. It is our goal to have the greatest positive impact on our communities with our presence.”

To celebrate the foam dyeing technique, Wrangler will launch a 2019 collection that uses 100 percent foam-dyed denim. “This will be an iconic collection that features our legacy products. The denim jackets, shirts and pants will showcase the best of our brand culture, heritage and history.”

Learn more about Wrangler's ongoing sustainability efforts.