The textile industry is one of the major industrial polluters, and water recycling is yet far from being standard practice. Wastewater generation remains a serious and growing problem, affecting ecosystems, human health and freshwater availability for other uses. India is the world’s third largest exporter of textiles and the sector directly employs 45 million people. This case study explores the socio-technical transition of Tirupur, a textile cluster dubbed as the first in India to shift to 'zero liquid discharge' (ZLD) in a systematic manner.