What Has Biodiversity Got To Do With Your Jeans?

What Has Biodiversity Got To Do With Your Jeans?
Climate change has taken center stage for many years, but, as we see now, the important role of biodiversity (loss) is increasing.  Biodiversity loss has been ranked as one of the biggest risks facing humanity in the next decade, according to the 2020 Forum’s Global Risk Report. Biodiversity refers to the variety of life on our planet. It looks at the quantity and diversity of species. Biodiversity represents the life support system of the Earth.

Biodiversity and Fashion

 

What many don’t realize is that as much as bees rely on a healthy biodiversity so does humanity. Without healthy biodiversity we will see a collapse on food systems, water access, as well a the disruption of entire supply chains.    

 

Compared to the average impact over the last 10 million years, the current rate of extinction is tens to hundreds of times higher. The 5 main drivers making nature disappear are changes in land and sea use, overexploitation, climate change, pollution, and invasive alien species.1 Climate change and biodiversity loss are very much interdependent. Improving one, positively affects the other. 

What impact does your jeans have on Biodiversity?

 

“Fashion has a big footprint”    

 

The fashion industry is a significant contributor to biodiversity loss because of its massive exploitation of natural resources, pollution output and  water contamination.     

 

Consider the standard pair of jeans, which are commonly made with conventional cotton that uses large amount of land, pesticides, insecticides and water. It is dyed and given its worn out look using toxic chemicals that typically are released into the water and back into nature. These material and production decisions have a catastrophic effect on natural ecosystems and lead to the destruction of ecosystems.    

 

The irony is that the fashion industry, while being the most exploitive industries, is also the most dependent on natural resources. To make beautiful clothes you need beautiful and healthy natural resources. It is therefore essential that consumers recognize that our clothes come from nature and for the fashion industry to start making conscious production decisions that protect the origin of their own natural materials. Taking care of biodiversity is not only a environmentally conscious action, but it is also a strategic business decision. 

Finding a proactive solution    

 

The good news is that we are not starting from scratch. Many companies are already managing their carbon footprint, energy use and water. All of these naturally have a positive implications for biodiversity.  It is also exciting to see over 200 brands committing to the restoration of biodiversity through The Fashion Pact. Within this pact they have built a biodiversity strategy that consists of avoiding a negative biodiversity impact, reducing biodiversity impact, as well as restoring, regenerating and transforming ecosystems.

Doing Jeans Differently    

 

MUD Jeans is all about doing jeans differently. As pioneers in circular denim we are always pushing boundaries and working towards continuous improvement. As a brand we don’t only focus on water and Co2 impact, but we also measure our biodiversity impact. We are the only denim brand measuring our impact in this way. On average a pair of MUD Jeans has a 51% lower biodiversity impact than industry standard.  What’s great is that we don’t work with averages, we actually have the individual impact of every single style in our collection. Our customer can find this information as they are about to purchase their jeans.    

 

MUD Jeans is able to achieve this low impacting denim due to its circular production decisions. It is the combination of using post consumer recycled cotton, GOTS Certified Organic cotton, circular design, no toxic chemicals and state of the art manufacturing techniques that conserve and recyle water, which create such a sustainable pair of jeans.    

 

But we didn’t want to stop there. At MUD Jeans we want to go beyond neutralizing our impact, but actively do more good. Thanks to the support and grant from One Carbon World, MUD Jeans became carbon positive in 2020. Our carbon positive objectives are focused not only in neutralizing our Co2 impact, but also supporting the restoration and conservation of biodiversity.  We have credited 300 tons of additional carbon offset credits. 90% of these has gone to a Rainforest Alliance certified reforestation project in La Pitanga in South America. In continuation with these efforts, we aim to plant 10,000 trees in 2021 in collaboration with Justdiggit. For every pair of returned jeans, MUD Jeans will donate the equivalent needed to re-grow a tree. Regrowing 10,000 trees will not only help fight climate change but also restore biodiversity in the region of Tanzania.    

 

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