Chakaka Primary School in Malawi, the winner of ONE MILLION LITERS. This #InspiratorProject seeks to improve the quality of life (health and hygiene) and education of girls and boys at Chakaka Elementary School in Benga, providing it with drinking water thanks to the drilling a new well
Two months after its launch, the One Million Liters initiative, which invited people to join the Sustainable Denim Revolution, now has a beneficiary: the Chakaka Primary School in Benga, Malawi. This is the culmination of Tejidos Royo’s first initiative to raise awareness of how changing one part of the manufacturing process not only makes a big difference to the industry but also contributes to a good cause.
One of the greatest problems in the textile industry is the excessive consumption of water, especially in the denim fabric dyeing process. For example, according to UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) reports, making a pair of jeans with the conventional system consumes as much water as one person would drink in seven years.
On this basis, taking on the challenge of shifting towards responsible processes, Tejidos Royo has been working in collaboration with Gaston Systems Inc. and Indigo Mill Designs (IMD) for more than a decade, on its pioneering Dry Indigo® technology. This has allowed it to eliminate the use of water 100% from the indigo thread dyeing process, which is an important milestone in the textile industry. In addition, it allows a 65% reduction in energy use during manufacture, it uses 89% less chemical products and it totally eliminates waste water discharge.
Jose Rafael Royo, member of board, explains that “at Tejidos Royo we are acutely aware of the impact we have on the environment and, in recent years, we have been working to make good our commitment to our surroundings and to meet the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. We believe that the stakeholders in each industry have to play a leading role in creating a landscape for change. For that reason, we decided to commit to investing years of work in the development of Dry Indigo® which, without doubt, opens up a fantastic path for the whole textile industry towards sustainability. The One Million Liters initiative was devised as a meeting point to raise awareness among end consumers and the rest of the industry, and we are very proud to have launched this small but significant call for awareness that we hope will produce a loud international echo.”
To achieve these aims and to spread its values, Tejidos Royo created the One Million Liters initiative, an international campaign that was launched at the Kingpins Show in Amsterdam and then shared in Spain, USA, Germany, UK, the Netherlands, France and Italy. After the first donation in 2019, through its microsite, the initiative offered users from around the globe the chance to nominate a charitable cause to receive the donation for 2020, made up of part of the company’s savings from the previous year as a result of using the Dry Indigo® dry dyeing technology.
To promote participation in key markets such as Germany and the USA, an influencers campaign was carried out in which ambassadors helped raise the initiative’s profile.
The task of selecting the One Million Liters winner fell to a panel made up of outstanding professionals, including Anna Pons, Director of the Department for Agriculture, Rural Development, Climate Emergency and Ecological Transition of the Generalitat Valenciana; Arturo Larena, Director of EFE Verde, the environmental arm of the news agency Agencia EFE; César Royo, CEO of Tejidos Royo; Jose Royo, Board Member of Tejidos Royo; and Jaime Primo, Director of the Agricultural and Chemical Ecology Centre (CEQA) and trustee of the José and Ana Royo Foundation. “The quality of the proposed charitable projects has been spectacular. We have awarded the charitable cause that we believe will benefit the most from our donation and we look forward to seeing how the construction of a well for Chakaka Primary School evolves,” stated the panel members.
Following the panel’s deliberation and vote, the winning charitable cause was named as Chakaka Primary School in Benga, Malawi, run by the Missionary Community of Saint Paul the Apostle. The school’s nearest well is 500 metres away, and the amount of water it provides is not enough for the more than 1,500 boys and girls at the school, as the well is shared with a large local community.
The project aims to resolve these problems by drilling a new well and installing a pump that ensures a permanent supply of drinking water at the school. As a result, the school will have all the water it needs for drinking and cooking, as well as to clean the classrooms, toilets and kitchens, thereby improving hygiene and sanitation which is necessary in order to prevent the spread of diseases. It will also improve quality of life for 50 girls in seventh and eighth grade who stay at the school from Monday to Friday because their homes are a long way away.
“At the Benga Parish, we are delighted to be part of the wonderful One Million Liters project and to be able to collaborate with Tejidos Royo in the construction of a well to provide Chakaka School with drinking water. Our missions seek to improve conditions for thousands of people through initiatives that foster their integrated development.”
So, Tejidos Royo hopes that this first call for a Sustainable Denim Revolution is just the beginning of a long process moving towards being an ethical industry. It hopes to carry on raising awareness in the textile sector and among its consumers about the importance of responsible consumption, in order to change our present paradigm.