Ozone used to save water in garment manufacturing

Ozone is instrumental in helping reduce water consumption in garment manufacturing.  Levi Strauss has learned innovative techniques and is now sharing this information with the world.  Read below:

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Levi Strauss Water innovation Manual can be downloaded here


  • Water savings counted:  A bleach bath and a generic neutralization bath
  • Average water savings: 12 liters/ jean
  • Frequency of use: Moderate

Traditionally used to clean up garments, ozone, a powerful oxidant, has been used in finishing for some time. As a Water-less technique, higher concentrations of ozone achieve more pronounced lightening effects, effectively replacing many uses for wet bleach baths.

Lightening a garment with a wet bleaching agent typically requires three wet baths: a bleach bath, a neutralize bath, and a rinse bath. If ozone use comes in the middle of a finish formula, it saves all three baths. If ozone use is the first step in a formula, it only saves two baths because the garments need to be wet before being loaded into the machine. Since vendors apply the technique in different ways, they may save two or three baths. Therefore, we conservatively count the water savings from only two baths, the bleach bath and a generic neutralization bath.

Additional notes:

  • Ozone can be used on indigo or black sulfur fabrics.
  • Use of ozone requires up-front investment in the ozone machine and the generators, along with safety training for workers.