Okay...but what is a B Corp?
B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet the standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. To say it in the B Lab's words: B Corps (aka Benefit Corporations) use their business as a force for good. To become a B Corp you have to do a full-length assessment. When you complete the the B Impact Assessment you need to earn a reviewed minimum score of 80 out of 200 points.
Beyond your own efforts, being a B Corp also means being part of a community. We are proud to be in such great company and when considering new collaborations we look towards fellow B Corps first whenever possible. Because we know we share the same ultimate vision.
Where it all began
MUD Jeans began its journey to becoming a B Corp back in 2014. Since MUD Jeans was born out of the wish to change the fashion industry for the better, becoming a B Corp clearly fit with our mission. But this was easier said than done. The necessary assessment is incredibly detailed and requires you to think about parts of our business that you may not have considered before. It took several months but, ultimately, we became certified in January 2015 with a score of 91.2! And while this was a massive milestone for us, we knew we wanted to improve our score further in the future.
What we're proud of
1. We take back all of our old jeans for recycling and promote this approach further through our leasing system.
By doing so, we take responsibility over the waste we create as a brand and avoid adding to existing landfills. It also allows to significantly reduce our environmental impact by reducing the need for virgin cotton production.
2. Through constant innovation, we have achieved new, less impactful production techniques.
For example, the use of laser and ozone has replaced PP spray, chlorine and stone washing. In addition, a new foam dyeing technique invented by Tejidos Royo saves 100% of water and 86% less chemicals. Our most ambitious goal, however, is to create the first jeans made from 100% post-consumer recycled cotton through our Road to 100 project.
3. Our impact numbers show us that we are on the right track.
We are proud to publicly share our precise environmental impact numbers and show that we have nothing to hide. In 2021, our jeans have used 93% less water, 74% less CO2 and 47% less land and have had a 51% lower impact on biodiversity.
4. Through our Road to 100 project we aim to create the first jeans made from 100% post-consumer recycled cotton.
Its success would mean that no virgin cotton whatsoever needs to be produced for such a jeans. Through ongoing research we have made major milestones on this project, which we will share with you soon!
5. We have maintained a small and transparent supply chain which allows to foster close relationships with all of our partners.
Through this close relationship, as well as our code of conduct and third-party audits, we work hard to ensure everyone involved in the making of our jeans is treated fairly. Because sustainability goes beyond our impact on the environment.
All of these aspects have been important in our role as a certified B Corp. It has also allowed us to increase our assessment score from 91.2 points in 2015 to 124.7 points in our recent re-assessment! And of course, as a brand focused on reducing the environmental impact of jeans, we are especially proud of our score within the "Environment" category. With an environment score of 74.1 MUD Jeans has the highest score across all B Corps and was therefore awarded "Best for the World: Environment" by the B Lab in 2021. We are incredibly proud to have received this award four times already!
Where we want to improve
There is always room to grow and at MUD Jeans we aim to choose progress over comfort. Here's a summary of three things we want to improve on further in the future:
1. Employee wellbeing
As a team working with a purpose, we tend to want to do it all. But part of making sustainable jeans is a sustainable approach to work. Firstly, we want to better ensure that we are able to take some time to breathe, step back, and celebrate in between. In addition, we want to find more time for personal growth. Our team is truly great at what they do but we want to give everyone the opportunity to become great at even more things if they wish to do so. In that spirit, we want to further increase the opportunities for our team to expand their skill set, language skills, and know how.
2. Our positive environmental impact
While we are extremely proud of what we have achieved so far, we do not plan to stop improving any time soon. For one, we still have a lot of work ahead of us concerning our Road to 100 project. Of course, the ultimate goal is to gradually replace the remaining organic cotton that we use within our jeans with recycled cotton. In addition, we want to do an even better job at advocating for policy change. Especially in regards to Extended Producer Responsibility (a policy approach where producers are given the financial or physical responsibility over their used products), we aim to push for more change within and beyond the fashion industry. Finally, we want to get an even better idea on where we stand in terms of waste production and circularity. We are working on measuring these aspects across our supply chain.
3. Diversity and inclusion
Last but certainly not least, making MUD Jeans the most inclusive and diverse company it can be is something we want to continue to work towards. We want to create content and products that resonate with our audience. Our aim for 2022 is to carry out more research on this topic, also across our supply chain, and to be more diverse in our images choices and models we work with.