WATER HAS THE POWER

Posted on

11/07/2022

Water is a precondition for human existence and for the sustainability of the planet. ”

UN WATER REPORT

We protect, preserve and cherish the earth’s resources at BUFF®. We harness the power of water using a Catalan watermill to produce some of the yarns that make our most iconic products. 

WATER POWER 

Water; that most precious of resources, immediately conjures up the oceans we love to swim in, the rivers and streams that flow across fertile land, the hydration we crave on a long hike or at the end of a workout. The only substance on earth that is found naturally in three forms: liquid, solid and gas. It’s estimated that a person can survive almost a month without food but no more than a week without water. Perhaps you know that the human body is 60-70% water; you might also recognize H20 as the chemical name for water but did you know that water was one of the great forces behind the industrial revolution and is still the force behind some of our most high-tech fabric? 

Think of it as early technology

More than 2,000 years ago, the ancient Greeks used waterpower to run wheels for grinding grain; that same system was the starting point for the cotton mills that became today’s textile industry. Once the hydraulic energy of the river had been put to work powering the industrial looms and shuttles needed to create fabric, what were once rural communities were converted to small, self-contained industrial ones.

In Catalunya, the birthplace of BUFF® there is a long tradition of textile manufacturing, one that drew workers from the south of Spain to live in the new worker colonies that were being created along the banks of the Llobregat river. The Catalan industrialists of the day provided houses, schools, shops and churches around the mills, often commissioning buildings of lasting architectural legacy as part of their Colony. As electricity and modernity eventually took over and overseas manufacturing threatened to close down the entire industry, the original workers colonies of the late 19th and earlier 20th century disappeared but their legacy lives on.

At BUFF® we are proud to say we can still draw on this most local of sources for fabric production. The same buildings that were constructed back in the late 1800s to take advantage of the waterfall and old flour mill of the Casa Grande de Cal Riera are today home to the Filats Gonfaus spinning mill. In the last year alone, this mill has supplied BUFF® with 90,000 kilograms of yarn, used to make 2.3 million units of the Original EcoStretch Multifunctional Neckwear, our most iconic product. 

Feel the flow

Today, depending on the water flowing down the river, Filats Gonfaus use hydropower to generate up to 40% of its energy, a figure they aim to increase over the next two years. And in keeping with our commitment to get to 100% renewable energy sources, it is this 40% that is used by Filats Gonfaus when producing yarns for BUFF®. 

When we harness the power of nature in our production processes, we harness something primal, something that goes deeper than a means to an end. It’s the power of a natural force that courses through production lines, a thread that runs through traditions and innovations. Techniques once learnt as handcrafts, now thoroughly automated but still powered from that same river. When you take that next refreshing sip, drink deeply from the power that lies behind it, a story of nature and man working together rather than against each other. Feel the power of water flowing from process to fabric, fabric to product, product to you when you run, when you climb, when you venture out in nature, connected to the rolling turn of the water mill, a journey of power and nature that connects us all. An old story, a new story, a necessary story. 

We want to make every day and every action count, it’s why we are committed to ACT, PROTECT, CARE and DO MORE NOW. Achieving those goals is a journey, we’d like to share so that step by step we move forward together to a better future. 

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