Indigood® Program

Upcoming Event: Kontoor Brands Second Quarter 2024 Earnings Conference Call - August 1, 2024 at 8:30 a.m. ET - Webcast

About the Indigood® Program

The Indigood® Program measures, validates, and annually monitors the freshwater consumption of denim mills, seeking to conserve millions of liters and driving change across the industry.

In 2019, Kontoor launched a revolutionary foam-dyeing technology that uses at least 90% less water than conventional indigo dyeing.  Building on our success and recognizing that dyeing process is only one component of a mill’s water consumption in denim fabric production, we see an aspiration for all denim fabric to be made with less water and expanded the Indigood® Program in 2021.

Through the Indigood® Program, Kontoor challenges textile mills to adopt freshwater saving technologies and partners them with third-party experts and independent auditors to drive change and validate water savings. Mills that meet a 90% or higher freshwater savings over their prior water usage levels, using 2018-2019 usage levels as the baseline, achieve the Indigood® honor.

Since its inception, the Indigood® Program has been implemented in over 30 textile mills that aspire to reduce their freshwater intake.

Our Partners

We currently work with over 30 mills: Independent auditors verify a mill’s freshwater data from 2021-2022 against a 2018-2019 baseline and determine a percent reduction. Independent auditors re-evaluate freshwater usage annually. Mills that show a 30%-59% water savings from the baseline achieve Bronze status, or Silver status for 60%-89% savings from baseline and those with a >90% savings can achieve Indigood® Gold status.

Mills must commit to a program of continuous improvement to eventually reach the 90% Indigood® Gold status – thus driving reductions over time, to eventually reduce their freshwater intake by over 90%. In addition, to be designated as Indigood Gold, a mill must also use less than 5 liters of freshwater per meter of fabric produced. Thus, for some mills that start out as particularly inefficient in their use of water, reaching the Indigood Gold Status provides a savings over the 90% threshold.

The Impact

For its impact, the Indigood® Program is a simple program. The Indigood® Program increases awareness and encourages mills to be more strategic and creative with their water conservation solutions – allowing the mills to choose options that are right for their facilities and future ambitions.

Driving Change in the Industry:

Any mill interested in joining the program must adopt the goal to meet the 90+% freshwater savings over time and provide annual water data and mill access to our independent auditors.

Those mills that do not meet the 90+% water savings are introduced to industry experts who can help build individualized programs to help drive additional water savings.

Helping Our Designers make Better Choices:

Our Lee and Wrangler Designers are encouraged to use Mills that achieve Bronze, Silver, or Indigood® Gold status in an effort to meet internal water reduction targets.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequenty Asked Question: Response:
What industrial processes are included in the assessment scope? All industrial processes starting with the input of fabric quality water to the plant through finishing of the fabric. This includes all components of the dyeing process, various finishing processes, humidification, cooling tower, and steam production.
What water uses within the mill are excluded from the assessment scope?

Domestic water used for human consumption or toilets are excluded, as well as water used for steam production required to generate energy in the power plant are excluded.

Normally some portion of power plant steam is reused in fabric production so that portion of the steam is included as production water as well.

“Steam condensate and/or “cooling water” that is reused in a separate process, how it will be treated? Water that is reused in a separate process can be counted as reused water and counts towards a mill’s overall freshwater use reduction. Here we are aiming at technology or process changes that lead to a major reduction in freshwater use without adversely affecting the final product properties or characteristics.
What is the standard that freshwater reductions are measured against?

For process improvements, mill performance in the year 2018 is considered the baseline, so the average water use per meter of fabric in the assessed period is compared to the water used in 2018.

All water recycling, regardless of when first implemented is considered a reduction in freshwater use.

How is the freshwater savings calculated?

Following is the list of steps that we perform to calculate total freshwater savings:

  • Consider all industrial water used in the mill, excluding water used for domestic purposes
  • calculate the total water use per meter of fabric in 2018 as the baseline for water use
  • look at the most recent period of 6 to 12 months (in 2021 and 2022) to calculate the current overall water use per meter of fabric
  • look at the various water recycling water streams to calculate the percentage of recycled and fresh water used in the recent period
  • compare the fresh water used per meter of fabric in the current period to the overall water used per meter of fabric in the baseline period to determine the freshwater savings percentage
Are there any other parameters beyond the 30, 60 or 90% reduction in water use levels that is required for each performance designation?

There are a few:

  • All local wastewater quality regulations must be met
  • There must be no degradation in fabric colorfastness or other fabric performance characteristics
Are there any other parameters beyond the 90% reduction in water use that is required for Indigood® Gold designation? Overall freshwater use must be less than 5 liters/meter of fabric for all industrial processes
How is raw water treatment process of external source water considered if it is required to make the water usable within the mill? In this case, if the water is not suitable for typical industrial use without treatment, we are only considering the water treatment output quantity received that meets required parameters for source water to the mill. Such water treatment processes could be resin softening, ion exchange, membrane filtration (RO/NF) etc.
If untreated municipal sewage is treated by the mill so that it is usable as input to industrial processes, how is the water considered in the Indigood® Program analysis? Here it is expected that the water is a waste from other municipal or industrial processes and is not suitable for any use prior to the mill treating it. In this case, the mill gets credit for recycling the water as long as it is returned to the watershed or municipal treatment meeting all regulations for its output.