Huffpost Green
Jonathan Kirby Headshot

WATCH: Sustainable Design and the Water Crisis

Posted: Updated:

More than 70% of our planet's surface is covered by water, which makes you wonder why we called it planet earth in the first place. Roughly 70% of our bodies are composed of water. Coincidence? I'm not sure.

For over 1 billion people across the developing world, accessing water is not as simple as most think. Of all the water on the planet, only 1 percent is sustainable for human use. In fact, one out of every eight people on the planet -- that's nearly 1.1 billion human beings -- do not have enough clean water to drink. Still, we continue to take water for granted in our daily lives.

On an average day, women living in communities that lack access to clean drinking water and safe sanitation spend approximately 200 million hours scavenging for water. Even when water is procured, there is often no available means of determining its purity. The practical consequence of the productivity gap is an ongoing cycle of poverty, malnutrition and powerlessness.

Combine these sobering facts with the design thinking of Dieter Rams, who said "Good design is as little design as possible..." and it's easy to see why we ended up asking ourselves, how do we do more, with less... less water that is!

You need to know that the average pair of jeans requires 45 liters of water to be produced. For just one pair of jeans! We knew this was something we could do differently, we just needed a new approach. That new approach was Water < Less. Water < less is a complete re-imagination of our denim finishing process that helps us save water for those who need it most.

As an extension to our Water < less product and to raise further awareness to the global water crisis, we recently launched "Go Water < Less", in partnership with Water.org. By partnering with Water.org we are able to empower communities across the developing world through a unique "water credit" program -- a micro-lending platform that provides loans for individuals that allow them to connect water to their homes.

Water credit means women can work a paying job or send their children to school, instead of spending several hours daily scavenging for water. It also means self-determination for families who have never been given a chance. Core to this model is the idea that solutions are not simply imported, but arise from close collaboration with communities.

As Water.org CEO and co-founder Gary White says, "It doesn't make any sense that we should have come so far as a planet yet people are still dying by the millions every year because they don't have safe water."

Help us make an impact on our planet! #GoWater < less!

WATCH:

Around the Web

Sustainable design - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sustainable Design Group - Green Custom Home Design ...

Sustainable Design Program

Architects build business on sustainable design

Santa Monica's Sustainable Award Nominees Share Common Goal Across Different ...

Students pitch sustainable businesses at Earth Day celebration

From Our Partners