We deliver on sustainability development goals

STWI is dedicated to enabling a world with clean water and sustainable textile and leather industries. We help all of our stakeholders deliver on SDG #6 Sustainable Water and Sanitation, #12 Responsible Consumption and Production,  and #17 Partnerships For the Goals.

The Initiative

In 2010, major Swedish textile and leather brands and the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) launched the Sweden Textile Water Initiative. The idea behind the initiative was to gain a better understanding of the water challenges faced by the industry and finding the right mechanisms to address them.

During an initial two-year period the collective kick-started a collaborative learning process as a Swedish Water House cluster group. Through dedicated dialogue between member companies, SIWI and experts on industrial water use, the first guidelines for sustainable water and waste water management in supply chains were created. From 2014 to 2018 the program has been working with 277 suppliers in Bangladesh, China, Ethiopia, India and Turkey. We have been providing training and implementation of methods for sustainable water use, technical support and data monitoring.

The program has demonstrated its value through many positive results. In combination with stricter policies and brand standards, STWI provides an excellent platform for factories to learn and perform good sustainability results and practices.

From 2018 the network will progress to a Global Network increasing knowledge sharing in the textile industry and working with sustainable resource managementin the supply chain.

The Initiative

Our vision and mission

VISION: Contributing to wiser water management. from thread and raw hide to end product.

MISSION: Sweden Textile Water Initiative is collaborating to drive global change towards sustainable textile and leather production.


Addressing the water footprint of textiles is on trend. Over the past decade, the global fashion industry stepped up engagement and began to address water risk. This recognition emerged, in part, due to demand for improved financial value along supply chains alongside an increasing understanding of environmental impact.

As the textile industry accounts for USD 400 billion in annual global exports and The World Bank estimates that 20% of industrial freshwater pollution is caused by the textile industry, savings generated from sustainable water use has significant potential to impact our world and economies.

Many fashion brands have developed environmental codes for sustainable production. However, implementation has been limited due to a lack of robust models.

By measuring the Value-Added Water in production processes, introducing reliable, comparable data and testing in several productions countries, Sweden Textile Water Initiative has developed a sustainable business model for fashion brands to implement and reduce their environmental impact.

Our partners

STWI collaborates with a few organizations and initiatives: SAC, ZDHC, EU Garment Initiative, ILO, etc.

What does Sweden Textile Initiative Do?


The member companies of Sweden Textile Water Initiative have developed joint guidelines for sustainable water management and are responsible for maintaining and improving them. Twenty-seven companies work with their suppliers in implementing the guidelines in a common project. The projects are supported by Sida.


Sweden Textile Water Initiative is hosted by Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI). All members have equal status and influence on the activities of the initiative and select representatives for the steering committee.


The founding members of the network are mainly fashion brands of varying size, based in Sweden or with Swedish representation. We have added some Nordic brands as well and we welcome new members! More information about the members and their activities is found here.


These Swedish brands have decided to make a difference and will act together for better water management in their supply chains.