Lease jeans made with recycled denim

Dutch brand MUD Jeans is the first CO2 neutral denim brand with a circular philosophy, and offers a “Lease a Jeans” programme for their recycled denim jeans

The clothing industry is the second most polluting industry in the world, producing 10 per cent of worldwide CO2 emissions. Garments are worn on average 7 times before they are thrown out, and a pair of jeans costs 8,000 litres of water to produce.

MUD Jeans’ aim is to radically change the fashion industry form a linear economy to a circular one. Taking the most popular fashion item, a pair of jeans, they made the process sustainable in 6 steps.

The first step is using circular design by making the pair of jeans easily reusable. They do this by eliminating “seemingly insignificant details”, like the leather label most brands sport, as this is just an extra item to remove to recycle the cotton.

Rather than launching a collection every season, MUD Jeans is “anti fast fashion” and aims to make timeless jeans. While they keep looking for more sustainable fabrics, the styles remain simple, and the company offers a repair service so that you can wear your jeans for as long as possible.

The supply chain from cotton field to jeans is a long one, which in which things can go wrong and become shady. At MUD Jeans, they aim to keep the supply chain as simple and transparent as possible, to guarantee that working conditions anywhere along the chain is on the up and up.

Worn jeans that are returned are fixed and customised on demand, and then sold as vintage jeans, giving the product a longer lifecycle. By remaining owner of the jeans, MUD Jeans has a steady supply of raw material consisting of old denim. In a factory in Valencia, old, unwearable jeans are torn apart, mixing the fibres with virgin cotton to create new yarn. Up to 40 per cent recycled material is used for the new jeans.

MUD Jeans minimises the amount of water and chemicals used in their products. The company uses a new ‘bleach’ finish that is obtained by using solely ozone and laser techniques. The indigo dye used is Cradle-2-Cradle certified VAT Dye from Dyestar.

MUD Jeans believes you don’t need to own your jeans to enjoy them, so they offer a “Lease a Jeans” programme. Basically, you pay a subscription fee of €7.50 per month for 12 months. After a year, you can decide if you want to switch for a new pair of jeans or keep the pair you already have. This way, the company cleans up their own mess, rather than let you deal with it.

Photos: MUD Jeans