Water Stewardship: A Resource for the Textiles and Apparel Sector

Alliance for Water Stewardship / Water Stewardship: A Resource for the Textiles and Apparel Sector

Water stewardship: A resource for the textiles & apparel sector

From growing raw materials to dying and finishing clothes, the textiles and apparel sector relies heavily on water throughout its value chain. As water challenges grow around the world due to stresses such as population growth and climate change, the industry faces a wide range of water-related risks. What are these risks and how can the industry work to address them?

To help answer these questions and more, the Alliance for Water Stewardship has published ‘Water stewardship: A resource for the textiles and apparel industry’, which provides an overview of water risks facing the industry’s value chain and outlines a clear path for how brands can take water stewardship action. In recent years AWS has heard from our Members and the participants our Textiles & Apparel Working Group that a knowledge gap exists in understanding how water intersects with this industry and how to take action.

This report was developed in response to this feedback and with the generous support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. It consists of three parts:

PART ONE looks at a range of water risks and the connections between environmental, social and governance commitments already made by the textiles and apparel sector.

PART TWO gives a breakdown of the steps that brands can take towards effective water stewardship, going beyond water management and pollution control.

PART THREE explores opportunities, next steps and how AWS can support brands no matter where they are on their water stewardship journey.

The full report can be downloaded below.



AWS Members across the textiles and apparel sector, NGOs and regional experts are invited to join our Textiles & Apparel Working Group. Participants collaborate with one another to gain a deeper understanding of water-related impacts in the textiles and apparel industry and help set the agenda for water stewardship in the sector. Join an AWS working group and you’ll find purpose-driven individuals united in a mission to protect the earth’s freshwater resources.


The AWS Impact Accelerator is a collective, place-based approach to water stewardship. It has been developed to offer a format of engaging with the AWS Standard that is cost-efficient, scalable and replicable. The programme provides a pre-competitive opportunity for companies to work towards collaborative solutions to shared water challenges in important sourcing hubs facing high water risk.

Read the briefing note for the textiles and apparel sector

Learn more about our work in the textiles and apparel sector.