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Captain Peter Hammarstedt

25 Nov ’19

@Flavio Gasperini / Sea Shepherd

A warrior, defender and protector of the sea. Captain Peter Hammarstedt from Sea Shepherd shares his quest on ending illegal fishing and saving marine wildlife. Sharing the challenges he has faced, his accomplishments with Sea Shepherd and their current mission.

Imagine being at sea, waves reaching 13 to 14 meter heights, looking bright white and the rough wind splashing against the waves. Making it almost impossible to tell apart the white foam of a breaking wave and the ice in the water. Not forgetting another crucial part; you are on a ship. It’s a 500 ton ship, no back up motor, basically, if you lose the engine, you lose the ship.

With nowhere to go, you have no other option then to ride out this weather. Unsurprisingly, these are the moments when Peter feels most intimidated at sea. “It is very humbling, you recognise how small we are as a species on this planet but it’s also terrifying. There is a certain element of control that you have to leave behind”.

“I wanted to be one of those people in that boat. To put my body on the line and get physically in the way and interfere with this kind of hunt”. 

Life Story – It all started with an image of a dead whale being pulled up the ramp of an 8.000 ton factory whaling ship in the Antarctic. Full of disbelief and shock, the 14 year old Peter was left feeling restless. “I just couldn’t shake the image. It shocked me to the core that whaling was still happening” he said. Also visible in this image was a small rigid zodiac boat which was operated by Greenpeace. This boat was trying to get between the whales and the whalers. This little boat that was up against this huge factory ship, showed Peter there was still hope. Looking back at this moment he says: “I wanted to be one of those people in that boat. To put my body on the line and get physically in the way and interfere with this kind of hunt”. After learning more about illegal fishing and whale hunting, Peter decided to wait until he reached the minimum age of 18 to submit a crew application.

Joining Sea Shepherd

It was at the age of 17 when Peter started volunteering at Greenpeace, where he during a night watch shift learned more about Sea Shepherd. “The proactive Sea Shepherd approach appealed to me a lot more than what I was doing with Greenpeace”. Shortly after, Iceland re-joined the International Whaling commission and resumed their whale hunt.

As a reaction, Sea Shepherd announced they were heading to Iceland to directly intervene and prevent any whales from being killed. Having developed a strong connection to whales and being a Swede, Peter really wanted to join the crew on this pursuit. So he did. “In some ways I felt personally responsible. It was the country of Sweden that had cast the deciding vote which ultimately allowed this to happen” he explained.

And then came the Thunder 

When we ask Peter about his greatest achievement, he tells us how they shutdown the most wanted illegal fishing boat in the world; the Thunder. This ship, wanted by Interpol, had been blacklisted for 10 years and had made a profit of approximately 60 million dollars. Literally, Nobody was able to stop this ship, not even governments. Chasing the vessel for 10 days, Sea Shepherd was set out to accomplish something nobody had ever done before. “We thought we would just find this boat in the Antarctic somewhere, operating.


Our next step was to follow it for however long it took, until a nearby government could arrest the captain and the crew” Peter explained. Ultimately the illegal fishing boat couldn’t shake them off. After Sea Shepherd had followed the Thunder for 110 days, the captain of the Thunder decided to sink his own vessel, closely to São Tomé, and destroy the evidence on board. Ironically, Sea Shepherd had to rescue the captain of the Thunder and his 39 crew members.

They were later prosecuted and the captain and two of his officers were sentenced to three years in prison, in São Tomé. Sea Shepherd gained global knowledge and praise for their pursuit even reaching the front page of the New York Times. Furthermore, it inspired global dialogue about the illegal fishing problem. Peter adds: “That dedication by Sea Shepherd is what ultimately stopped this ship. It wasn’t a government. I’m incredibly proud of that!

On mission in Africa

Currently, Sea Shepherd is working with African coastal states like Liberia and offers assistance to the different governments around this continent with the arrest of illegal fishing boats. For every day that one of the illegal fishing boats is detained at port, up to tens of thousands of animals are saved. While talking about his current campaign, Peter reflects: “We are saving 10,000 animals every day when one of these ships is detained.”

Every life counts

Overall, it’s about our own individual lifestyle choices. From what we eat to what we wear and far beyond that. Peter believes the best approach is combining your individual passion with your skills and it’s about how you can combine them to really make a change. One that they can fight for their whole life. It’s only sustainable if it’s really personal and too often people are overwhelmed by just how big these issues are”. 

When looking into the future Peter points out how we live by the idea of limitless economic growth in a world that is limited for expansion.
“It can only produce so much timber and so much fish in a limited amount of time and it has a limited caring capacity. With the lifestyles that we have, our planet can only take so many people. The trend of how things are going is incredibly frightening but the solutions are there too. The planet has this incredible opportunity to rebound. The earth is very resilient. If we can put measures in place for instance for the oceans, being my kind of sphere, we can establish marine protected areas and increase the enforcement of them. I think then, the oceans can rebound very quickly”.

“Every life that we can save, is good enough. If that’s all that we can do, that’s good enough for me. It has to be”.

With his final words, Captain Peter Hammarstedt encourages us to act, no matter how overwhelming it may seem. “We look at everything from deforestation to what is happening with the oceans to climate change, there are so many excuses and reasons not to get involved. Just because the opposition seems so overwhelming. I think you have to take a look at what you can do within the sphere that you can control. Every life that we can save, is good enough. If that’s all that we can do, that’s good enough for me. It has to be”.

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Ocean Preservation


Our planet is in crisis and it’s complicated. We’re breaking it down for you. 
Get the facts straight and act now.

Unexplored waters

– 16th of Sept 2019 –

Ocean preservation

The ocean is a vast and mysterious body of saltwater that covers around 70% of our planet’s surface and connects all countries and people. 1 We are all dependent on these waters for our comfort and survival so let’s have a look at ocean preservation.

Why we should care

The ocean regulates our weather and climate by absorbing and storing the sun’s heat. Ocean currents transport this heat around the world, making sure every country gets the heat it deserves and hereby shape regional climates. Without these currents regional temperatures would be more extreme and make our planet a pretty uncomfortable place. 2

70% of the world’s oxygen is generated by the ocean. More specifically it’s the photosynthesis process of phytoplankton, kelp and algal plankton which is casually producing oxygen as a by-product. 3

The ocean is the world’s largest habitat and is the home of an incredible diversity of life. 4 By now around 200.000 different species have been identified and researchers are far from done, they discover new marine species on a daily basis. 5

Around 90% of world trade is carried out by sea. This makes the ocean our biggest highway and of vital importance to the world’s economy. However, the increase in sea traffic, has also brought unwanted negative consequences such as pollution. 6

Globally, people are dependent on the ocean for survival, food and income.For a vast number of people living in coastal areas fish makes up the majority of their daily protein intake.A healthy ocean is crucial for their survival. 

What is going wrong?

Human activities are harming the ocean. Man-made climate change is warming our bodies of water, changing its chemistry and rising its sea levels turning the marine habitat into a threat for those it shelters. But we don’t stop there. Humankind is also polluting the ocean and threatening its ecosystem through industrial fishing. 7

The biggest threats to our ocean

Plastic soup – Plastic accounts for more than half of the overall ocean pollution. Every minute, one garbage truck of plastics is dumped into our ocean. If we continue like this, by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. With plastic packaging being a major contributor to the problem. 8 If you agree that the only soup, we should be brewing is the nutritional kind, we highly recommend you say no to single-use plastics. Our favourite anti-plastics place on the internet is Lauren Singer’s zero-waste blog Trash is for Tossers

Microplastics – A piece of plastic is officially called micro when it’s smaller than 5mm. 9 Microplastics are coming from everywhere. One source of microplastics is big pieces of plastic, such as packaging, that somehow end up in nature where they will degrade into smaller pieces and become microplastics over time. The biggest source of microplastics is synthetic clothing and accountsfor 35%. Back in the days clothing used to be made from natural fibres such as cotton and wool. Nowadays, the majority of our clothes is made from synthetic fibres like polyester or nylon because they are cheaper to produce. 10

When synthetic clothing is washed it sheds microplastic fibres. In 2016 researchers from the University of Plymouth in the U.K. pointed out that one single load of laundry could release up to 700.000 microplastics, which is the equivalent to the surface area of a pack of gum.  11

These microplastics bypass wastewater treatments as they are too small to be filtered out. This is how countless plastic fibres make their way from washing machines into rivers and eventually the ocean. In the ocean microplastics form a life-threatening danger to marine life, as they end up eating plastic thinking it’s food. 12 Via the food chain these particles eventually end up on our plates. A new study in the journal Environmental Science and Technology says it’s possible that humans are consuming anywhere between 39.000 to 52.000 microplastic particles per year.  13

You can keep microplastics out of the ocean by opting for natural fabrics instead of synthetic ones and washing your synthetic clothing in a fibre filter bag such as Guppyfriend.

Coral reefs are dying, and fish are confused – Thanks to climate change our ocean is getting hotter and more acidic, making the water less habitable for all living organisms. CO2 emissions are absorbed by the ocean, catalysing chemical reactions and increasing the ocean’s acidity which is measured in pH. For around 24 million years the acidity of the ocean remained relatively stable between 8 pH and 8,3 pH. However, since the industrial revolution our ocean has become 28% more acidic. Basically, our oceans are turning sour and so is the sea life. 14

Ocean acidification is weakening corals, making them turn white which is often referred to as “coral bleaching”. It softens the shells of scallops and slows the rate at which crabs and lobsters change skin.This increased acidity also confuses fish as their smell changes in this new environment. 15

There is not plenty of fish in the sea – Industrial fishing is one of the most significant drivers of the decline in ocean wildlife populations. Catching fish is not per definition a bad thing. Except for when we are catching more and faster than stocks can replenish, which is called overfishing and is what we are a straight A student at. 16

Industrial fishing vessels are equipped with heavy machinery and modern technology turning them into floating factories, that catch, process and pack as much fish as possible. In just 50 years of industrial-scale commercial fishing, mankind has managed to cut the population of large ocean predatory fish such as tuna, swordfish and sharks by 90%. This void of fish in the ocean does not only threaten the livelihoods of fishers and an important source of protein but also unbalances the ocean’s ecosystem. 17

The issue of overfishing and the depletion of these predatory speciesis closely linked to bycatch, the accidental capture of non-target species such as dolphins, marine turtles and sea birds. Each day, thousands of kilometres of fishing nets and lines are set up all around the world. This modern gear is often extremely strong and undetectable by sight. Their invisibility makesthem perfect for catching the desired species as well as anything else that comes on their path. An alarmingnumber of marine life gets pulled up with the catch and is then thrown overboard, dying or dead. 18

Nets are ghosting – Around 50% of the ocean plastic waste is made up of fishing nets – so called ghost nets – making it a major threat to all sea life. 19 Fishing vessels lose, discard or abandon around 640.000 tonnes of fishing gear every year, oopsies.The lost fishing nets float through the oceans like ghosts trapping, injuring and killing fish along the way. Once there’s too many dead fish stuck in the nets they sink to the ground. After a while the dead fish decay and the nets are ready for the next round of pointless killing. This cycle continues until the nets wash ashore or degrade, which may take months to years.  20

Illegal fishing – Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing undermines national and international laws. Those exist to manage fisheries sustainably as well as to conserve and protect marine biodiversity. In many maritime regions of the world, IUU fishing is majorly contributing to the rapid depletion of fish stocks, especially in developing countries’ coastal regions. Many of these countries’ coast guards do not have their own patrol ships needed to protect their waters from IUU fishing. 21

Unfortunately forced labour and slavery are common practise onboard IUU fishing vessels. Men often board these ships willingly, seeking work. Once they are isolated at sea, their wages are withheld, and they are subjected to violent, inhumane working conditions. Some enslaved fishers don’t even see land for years. 22

Sea Shepherd

Sea Shepherd is an international NGO whose mission is to defend, conserve and protect the ocean and marine wildlife through direct-action campaigns. In Africa they work with countries that do not have offshore patrol vessels  – which leaves them vulnerable to IUU fishing – to enforce national and international fisheries and conservation laws. Here’s where Sea Shepherd acts on the front line collaborating with local authorities, by providing crewed civilian patrol vessels and taking their law enforcement personnel on board to patrol and inspect protected areas. The organization operates with a fleet of 12 vessels, playing a crucial role in their campaigns.

MUD Jeans x Sea Shepherd

To do our part in reviving the oceans we’ve teamed up with Sea Shepherd to create
a capsule collection. The profits will go to support their mission against illegal fishing and plastic pollution. Be the first to discover our joined collection.

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The Pressure is on


Our planet is in crisis and it’s complicated. We’re breaking it down for you. 
Get the facts straight and act now.

The pressure is on

– 29th of July 2019 –

Earth Overshoot Day

Humanity has officially used up more ecological resources this year than the Earth can regenerate by the end of 2019. Put simply, we are consuming more than we have. Earth Overshoot Day marks the point at which we have used more from nature than the planet can renew in a year. July 29, 2019 marks the earliest Earth Overshoot Day, ever. This is not just a threat to nature, but to human society too. To borrow a phrase: time’s up. 1

It is getting hot in here

As we are outpacing our planetary boundaries, our planet is warming. To calculate this warming, pre-industrial temperatures are compared with current ones. After all, the industrial revolution and related greenhouse gases are seen as the major reason why sweat is dripping in places it didn’t before. Since 1750, the global average temperatures have increased by 1° Celsius 2. Critical scientists even argue the rise is as high as 1,2° Celsius. 3

It is predicted that in the next century, the earth will warm between 2- to 6° Celsius on top of the warming of 1° Celsius. To our earth, climate change is nothing new, think the end of an ice age.

During these periods, global temperatures rose a total of 4- to 7° Celsius over 5000 years. Humankind has created a warming which is similar in intensity but has a life-span of 100 years instead of 5000. 4

Sadly, the movies Ice Age 1-4 didn’t teach us enough about the fatal consequences of climate change. It didn’t stop humans from emitting even more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. With their heat-trapping properties these gases lay at the basis of the climate change our planet is currently enduring.

Greenhouse gases,
not as green as they sound

In 1988, the United Nations (UN) founded the IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The IPCC meets every few years to analyse the latest scientific findings and to write a report with the most recent updates on climate change. 5

One of the first things that the IPCC sat straight, is that there are several greenhouse gases responsible for warming our planet and that we, humans, emit them in different ways. The majority of these gases come from the burning of fossil fuels in our cars, buildings, factories and power plants. Carbon dioxide, or CO2 is the hottest gas out there as it is creating the most warming. Other contributors are methane coming from landfills, natural gas and petroleum industries and agriculture (this is the notorious impact of cow farts that everyone is talking about), nitrous oxide coming from fertilizers, gases used for refrigeration and industrial processes and the loss of forests that would otherwise store CO2. 6

In order to sustain our modern lifestyle, we are releasing these greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, which are creating what we call the “greenhouse effect”. The gases work just like a greenhouse, they let light into the atmosphere but trap the majority of the reflecting heat. This messes with our planet’s temperature balance as the heat is supposed to be released back into space. The more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the more heat that gets locked. 7

Melting ice caps, Garrett Sears

Pressures on mother earth,
what is going on?

Mother earth is under pressure. And this is not only reflected in the record-breaking temperatures all around us. There are other direct and indirect consequences at stake, some of them are already apparent and taking their toll on humankind. Worldwide, temperatures are increasing, but this warming is every stronger in the polar regions, where sea ice is melting at an insanely rapid rate. It is estimated that by 2050, the Artic will be completely ice-free 8. The impact of this melting ice is global because it makes the sea levels rise. The seas have been rising on average 3,2 millimeters a year and this rise has even been accelerating in the last years. 9

Extreme weather events such as severe heat waves, droughts, floods and hurricanes are becoming more frequent. If we open our eyes, we can already see climate change in action around us. Wild fires, for example, are a natural part of the ecology in many regions. However, rising temperatures and limited rainfall increase the frequency and risk of exceptional large wild fires. 

At the moment the Arctic is suffering from abnormal wildfires. The fires are so big, they are visible on satellite images, Google it 10. The fires are contributing to a vicious circle that amplifies climate change. Falling smoke particles make the ice darker, which makes it absorb more sunshine and melt faster. The fires also make the permafrost melt faster. Permafrost is a permanently frozen layer below the earth’s surface and contains methane, which when released again intensifies the greenhouse effect 1112

Arctic fires, Copernicus Sentinel data, Pierre Markuse

As temperatures rise, worldwide, species are on the move, looking for cooler areas as their natural habitat is getting hotter than a Finnish Sauna. In May 2019 the UN has reported on a warning report written by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). The report states that nature is disappearing and species are becoming extinct at an unprecedented rate. Due to our actions and the resulting climate change around 1/5 of all plants and animals have become extinct over the past century 1415

How is climate change measured?

Climate change is mostly measured using the average surface temperature of our planet. When looking at changes in the last 100-150 years scientists use observations made by modern scientific instruments 16.

For older periods, scientists can research the temperatures of the past by looking at tree rings, ice cores (as long as they are still there) and corals. For example, when a tree grows older, every year it gets a new ring. A warmer and wetter year comes with a thicker ring. 17

Dying coral, Brett Monroe 

The UN says we are
not on the right track

Each year, the United Nations Framework Convention of Climate Change (UNFCC) hosts an annual climate conference with all their members, called Conference of the Parties (COP).

At COP21, in Paris on 12 December 2015, the members of the UNFCC decided to team up against climate change. Out came the Paris Climate Agreement, which aims to combat climate change by keeping the global temperature rise this century bellow 2° Celsius compared with pre-industrial levels. In an ideal world we would even keep the temperature rise below 1,5° Celsius. 18


By now, the Paris Agreement has been signed by nearly all 200 existing countries. Even initial boycotters such as Nicaragua and countries at war, such as Syria have signed the agreement. There is only one odd duck out there. After the dramatic move from the US President, Donald Trump, to withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, the US is the only country in the world that is not dedicated to decrease greenhouse gases to limit warming to 2° Celsius. 19

The UN warns in their latest Emissions Gap Report that the world’s collective attempt to limit carbon emissions is not going to be enough to stay within the range of 1,5- and 2 ° Celsius. If we continue the same way we will not be able to limit the effects of climate change, which will have catastrophic consequences. 20

We better be quick

In 2018 the IPCC reported that in order to keep the warming below 1,5° Celsius this century, CO2 emissions have to be cut by 45% by 2030. Climate scientists emphasize that politicians have time until the end of next year to finalise their game plan on how to cut down in carbon emissions. Governments usually scope their plans over 5- to 10-year timeframes, if a 45% carbon reduction needs to happen by 2030, the plans need to be on the table by 2020. Which means politicians have 18 months to go. 21

Aral Sea Uzbezikstan, Nasa

So, what are we waiting for?

Why are we not taking climate change seriously? Why are people, governments and companies not acting fast enough?

“People like to see change, but don’t want to change themselves.” Paul Watson

People are in denial about the urgency of the problem, the severity of the consequences or even reject the fact that man-made climate change is happening. A 23-country survey showed that 13% of Americans agree with the fact that the climate is changing but think that “human activity is not responsible at all”. Only Saudi Arabi (16%) and Indonesia (18%) have an even higher proportion of climate deniers. Germany is the first EU country on the list and comes 7th with 6% of its population denying man-made climate change. 22
In order to limit climate change to 1,5- or 2° Celsius governments and companies have mainly (but still not sufficiently) focused on renewable energy, energy efficiency and avoiding deforestation. As the UN said in the Emissions Gap Report, these efforts are not going to cut it. Therefore, it is needed to look at new and innovative business models, such as the circular economy to tackle climate change. 23

The circular economy as one
of the solutions

The circular economy is a regenerative system where waste and pollution does not exist. Products are designed for reuse, recycling and upcycling and kept in a closed loop. 24

This year Circle Economy published The Circularity Gap Report 2019. Circle Economy finds that today only 9% of the global economy is circular. The report highlights the importance of the circular economy in limiting climate change. It states that greenhouse gases can be reduced by implementing the circular principles of re-use, remanufacturing and re-cycling and stepping away from the linear Take-Make-Waste model that is dominating today’s world. 25

Take Action26

Circular denim

The fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries worldwide and therefore a major contributor to climate change. However, a positive impact can be created by doing things radically different. With our circular denim we are doing our part in limiting our planets warming.

The circular economy as one
of the solutions

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Our first sustainability report

“Let’s talk about how we measure our impact, our sustainability strategy and our kick-ass goals for 2020.”

With our first sustainability report, ever, we both look at the past and the future. As a circular denim brand and B Corp, we have made one hell of an impact during the last years, of that we are sure. Modern transparency is what we live by. In this light, we are extremely proud and excited to share with you how we strive to be even more sustainable and circular.

Impact recap

Thanks to fast fashion’s linear model of take, make and waste, the fashion industry earned itself a place amongst the most polluting industries worldwide. And to make it even worse, nearly three-fifths of all clothing ends up in incinerators or landfills within a year of being produced. With it’s circular denim, MUD Jeans want to radically change the fashion industry for the better.

We believe that the circular economy is the solution to today’s demanding fast fashion industry. By producing circular denim we save water, CO2 and waste. We are basically changing the world.


We saved 300 million litters of water in the last 3 years.


In the last 3 years we avoided 700.000 kilos of CO2. 


We have saved 12.000 jeans from landfill and incineration in the last 3 years.


Our factories

We are consciously sourcing our goods in nearby factories. We are able to visit the factory frequently. And we have the same mindset as the factory owners; transparency – fair wages – good working conditions are at the top of our list which is also embodied in our Code Of Conduct. 

In 2018, just like in 2017, 100% of our jeans where produced at Yousstex International, our garment manufacturer in Tunisia.

Our fabrics with recycled cotton come from Tejidos Royo in Spain. Tejidos Royo works together with their Spanish neighbours Recovertex to recycled our old denim into new fabrics. By using these fabrics to produce new jeans we are closing the loop.

“We work with 3 supply chain partners. This form of transparency contributes to a more sustainable and conscious way of producing clothes.”

In our sustainability report you can find our strategy and goals for 2020. Here is a recap of some of our favourites:

By 2020,

we want to develop one jeans fabric which is 100% recycled, ambitious, we know!

By 2020,

100% of all MUD Jeans components are designed for recycling.

By 2020,

we will conduct an updated LCA study in order to set CO2 reduction goals that go beyond being carbon neutral.

By 2020,

we will conduct a new social audit to gain new insights in the wage situation, working environment and equality at Yousstex International.

The future is circular

2019 will bring us a lot of insights from within our Supply chain and products. We can’t wait to obtain all this knowledge and take steps from there. No worries, we will take you along with us.

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Van life in MUD Jeans

Charlotte (@charlottevanberkum) followed the call of the ocean and grew up to live the van life. She  lived in Holland until she was 6. Then, she moved to Sagres in Portugal, and got stuck there. She can travel anywhere, but just loves where she lives. To her it’s perfect in every single way!

What do you do for a living?

I have various jobs. I am a mandala artist, a surfer and a model. My passion is surfing and my life has evolved around it. Because when I’m not surfing, I’m at the beach drawing while watching the waves and sunsets. Those drawings are the fruit of loving day by day, enjoying every single moment, the beauty of nature. And as a result, I draw those mandalas at all kinds of places, so they can send positive energies to the people around the world! I’m a model too, and, when possible, I use my role to send a message about living a healthy, sustainable life full of joy and love. I just tell you one thing, enjoy the life you were given every day and every moment, because you never know what will happen tomorrow. 

Do you live a sustainable lifestyle?

I can definitely say I live a sustainable lifestyle, but of course, I still want to do better. I live in a van; I consume solar energy; I use water out of the well; I do not eat any meat, milk products or fish, only when my husband takes it straight out of the ocean; when I go to the market I use my own reusable bags; when possible, we hitchhike; when we use our car, we try to be as efficient as possible; when it’s possible to go by bike, we go by bike; I try to make as little trash as I can; I only use second-hand clothes, but when I occasionally buy something new, I buy eco and sustainable; I use reusable menstruation products… I could go on and on!

What do you think we humans can easily do to live a little more sustainable?

Clothes! Packaged things from the supermarket. Straws, plastic bottles… Food! Don’t throw it away!

You seem very healthy, is that correct? What keeps you fit?

Yes that’s correct. I’m very conscious about what I eat. I take everything whole (pasta, rice, flour) and prepare it myself (bread, veggie burgers, sauces…), nothing pre-made or pre-cut. I mainly eat fresh veggies and fruit, vitamins! No sugars, only honey, loads of seeds and nuts. When I make sweets, it’s all as healthy as possible. But of course, when there is a birthday cake, I take a slice 🙂 I am very active too, I work in the garden and I surf (one, two or three times a day) every day. I think the most important mission in life is staying healthy – you are the only thing you really have!

“I think the most important

mission in life is staying healthy

— you are the only thing

you really have! “

What is your favorite morning routine?

I usually wake up between 8 and 9. I open our van, let the sun penetrate my skin, I walk a bit in our garden, take a look at our veggies and smell my flowers. I prepare some oat porridge, or make some granola with fruits, or some bread with avocado, and a big mug of coffee for me and my lovely husband! That’s when he comes out of bed, when he smells coffee 🙂 Then I do my social media. Make bread. Go to the veggie market. And we go surfing!

How important is it to you to live close to nature? 

I love living close to nature. I need it, I can’t stay in a city, it’s not my nature. I love waking up with the sound of the birds and bees, with the sun and the wind… it makes me grateful! I love surfing because it makes you enter a certain flow.

What would you like to achieve in life?

I would like to have a family. I want to go through that magic process nature gives us. I want to give my kids this beautiful life! I want to spread my art around the places I travel. I want to earn and grow in the world of surfing! I want to give a good example as a person. And, when I´m old, I want to go surfing with the whole family. I want to enjoy every single day as much as I can!

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How to treat your denim right

Pile sustainable denim recycling washing save energy blue indigo

Did you know that 50% of wear and tear of your denim is caused by just washing your jeans? Or that only one washing cycle uses approximately 55 litres of water? Or that washing your jeans every few days isn’t necessary at all?

Wist je dat 50% van de slijtage van je jeans wordt veroorzaakt door het wassen? Of dat voor een keer wassen 55 liter water nodig is? Of dat het helemaal niet nodig is om je jeans na een paar dagen dragen al te wassen?

Well, don’t worry if you didn’t answer one of these questions with yes. Most people didn’t know. In fact, we performed a research together with green energy supplier Greenchoice to find out about your washing habits. WiseWorks conducted the research. And you can read the funniest washing facts here.

It was shocking to discover that jeans are washed just out of the habit of washing your clothing every week and not because the jeans were actually stained. Just because your jeans are produced ‘green’, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take care of your denim at all. Even 2/3th of the lifecycle impact of a single jean is caused by the consumer phase and just 1/3th by the manufacturer, so how you treat your denim can really make a difference.

Was je antwoord op al deze vragen nee? Geen zorgen! De meeste mensen weten het niet. En precies daarom hebben we onderzoek gedaan naar de wasmethoden van Nederlanders. Samen met duurzame energieleverancier Greenchoice en onderzoeksbureau WiseWorks. De gekste was feitjes lees je hier.

Het was schrokkend om te ontdekken dat jeans vaak uit gewoonte worden gewassen en niet omdat ze echt vies zijn. En dat terwijl de producent voor 1/3e verantwoordelijk is voor het waterverbruik en de consument voor wel 2/3e. Dus de manier waarop jij je jeans behandeld kan veel invloed hebben.

Recycle tour mud jeans washing machines denim factory team

Be Cool, Wash Cool

Be cool, wash cool

1. Wash less. Only wash when your jeans are actually dirty. Sounds like the way to go, yet we tend to forget and wash out of habit. The real denim freaks suggest to only wash your jeans a few times a year.

1. Was minder. Was echt alleen als je kleding vies is. Klinkt zo logisch en toch doen we het niet! Maar, door je jeans minder te wassen, blijft de kleur namelijk behouden. De echte denim freaks raden aan je jeans slechts een paar keer per jaar te wassen.

2. Wash cooler. Save 30% of energy by washing at 40 degrees instead of 60 degrees. In the case of stains, it is even better to add extra stain remover than to increase the temperature.

2. Was kouder. Bespaar 30% energie door te wassen op 40 graden in plaats van 60 graden. Bij vlekken kun je zelfs beter extra vlekkenverwijderaar toevoegen dan de temperatuur te verhogen.

 3. Use the eco button on your washing machine. The energy label of your washing machine is based on the use of the eco button during all your washes.

3. Gebruik de eco knop op je wasmachine. Het energielabel van je wasmachine is gebaseerd op het gebruik van de eco knop tijdens al je wasbeurten.

4.Inside out. Good for color and maintaining your quality. Always check your bags before washing, perhaps you’ll find a forgotten coin.

4. Binnenstebuiten. Goed voor kleurverhoud en behoud van je kwaliteit. Check altijd je zakken voor het wassen, wie weet verdien je er nog wat mee.

5. Use vinegar. If you want to wash your jeans, do not use detergent and softener but vinegar. Especially when the jeans are dark and new, and still give off color, vinegar helps to better adhere the dye to the denim and thus to prevent color loss. If vinegar is one step too far for you, use liquid waxing, and never powder detergent as this can leave stains on dark jeans.

5. Gebruik azijn. Als je je jeans wilt wassen, gebruik dan geen wasmiddel en wasverzachter maar azijn. Vooral als de jeans donker en net nieuw is, en nog kleur afgeeft, helpt azijn om de kleurstof beter aan de spijkerstof te laten hechten en dus kleurverlies tegen te gaan. Als azijn je net een stap te ver gaat, gebruik dan vloeibaar wasmidden, en nooit poederwasmiddel want dit kan vlekken achterlaten op een donkere jeans.

6. Hang dry. There is nothing worse for your jeans than a tumble dryer. He shrinks and wears enormously. If you hang your pants outside, you can best do this inside out to prevent discoloration. Hang your jeans as soon as possible after washing.

6. Hang je jeans uit. Er is niets slechter voor je jeans dan een droogtrommel. Hij krimpt en slijt er enorm van. Als je je broek buiten ophangt, kan je dit het best binnenstebuiten doen om verkleuring tegen te gaan. Hang je jeans zo snel mogelijk na wassen uit.

7. For the real denim freaks; go take a bath with your jeans. Fill your tub with hot water (as hot as you can bear). Put on the jeans and get in the tub. Stay there until the water has cooled down. Get out of the tub and, while still wearing the jeans, sit in the sun while the jeans air dry.

7. Voor de echte denm freaks; ga in bad met je jeans. Vul je badkuip met warm water (zo heet als je aan kunt). Doe de spijkerbroek aan en stap in bad. Blijf liggen totdat het water is afgekoeld. Ga uit het bad ga in de zon zitten terwijl de buitenlucht je jeans drogen.

And then we have one last tip to wash even more sustainable in 2019, you can use green energy to make your washing machine do the job. For every person switching to the sustainable energy supplier Greenchoice via this link  there is one brand new sustainable MUD Jeans waiting for you.

En dan is er nog een laatste tip om nog duurzamer te wassen in 2019. Gebruik groene energie! Iedereen die via deze link  die overstapt naar Greenchoice krijgt een MUD Jeans cadeau!
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Fair Friday

Two blonde girls on a mission. Anne (23) and Elrike (26), real Dutchies and the initiators of Fair Friday. They are students, big chocolate lovers and they can talk for hours. Plus, they share a passion for equality and a world where people are valued for who they are and what they do. To make some noise they started a blog: Fair Friday. Sharing their journey towards buying more consciously.

They took off with some doubts: it seemed that if you didn’t want the story to be ugly, your clothes certainly would be — unless you were a millionaire. But they were determined. There had to be another way. Anne and Elrike were going for what seemed impossible: affordable, fashionable clothing with a fair backstory. And good news, after a long search they found many amazing brands who checked all our boxes. We asked them some questions about this journey!
You mention the malpractices in the fashion industry that caused you to make a change. Was there a specific moment or film or something that made you aware of this?

Yes, it actually was an accumulation. Through our (enormous) love for chocolate and our favorite chocolate brand, Tony Chocolonely, we were already aware of the problems in the cocoa industry, such as slavery and exploitation. In 2013, however, we discovered that these problems weren’t only in the cocoa-, but also in the fashion industry. In this year, now five years ago, a factory in Rana Plaza collapsed, killing 1134 employees. This made a big impression on us. We also saw the documentary ‘The True Cost’, what made us realize: Rana Plaza was not an example of an incident but a signal of a structural problem. Through this docu, we also became aware of the impact of our clothing on the environment. For example, that the water consumption of one pair of jeans is about the same as the drinking water of 1 person of about 10 years. So we could continue to close the tap while brushing our teeth, but then we knew how to really make a change!

What do you feel is the most important thing that needs to happen before people change their way of consuming?

We think that people first have to realize what is currently going on in the clothing industry. However, knowing only is not enough in most cases. A large part takes place on the other side of the world and the consequences are often only visible in the long-term. This makes it much more difficult to actually change your behavior. What helped us change were documentaries, inspirational brands and people; that says so much more than only facts. We also learned that we, as consumers, can really make a change. So here are some tips:

  • Must-see: The True Cost (available on Netflix), Chanel Trapman – Documentary The Positive Chain of Change & for the Dutchies the new series ‘Genaaid’ in which young designers see the circumstances of the people who make our clothes with their own eyes. 
  • Must-eat: Tony’s Chocolonely 😉
What was remarkable in the journey towards a more sustainable life? Specific cool brands? Nice platforms you use?

Well, at first we got a little bit lost in the journey to a more sustainable life: it seemed that if you didn’t want the story to be ugly, your clothes certainly would be — unless you could afford the lifestyle of a millionaire. But we were determined; there had to be another way. We were going for the impossible: affordable, fashionable clothing with a fair and sustainable backstory. But after a long search we found many amazing brands who checked all our boxes. Like the American brand ‘the Reformation’ which shows that fair fashion can be very fashionable. Or the shoe brand Veja; a couple of our friends bought this without even knowing that it was fair and sustainable: how cool is that! This is also why we started Fair Friday: we want to help others in finding affordable, stylish fair fashion. Plus, inspire people to get a new perspective on fashion! 

We celebrate ‘Credit the Heroes’ this month crediting the people in Tunisia who make our jeans. Without them, no jeans, no impact. How do you inspire or motivate each other?
Elrike tells: “Our journey into buying fashion more consciously started two years ago. When we decided to change our buying behavior, Anne immediately stopped buying clothes which were not fairly made. When she is driven, she goes a 100% for it! My change was less radical, I still bought fast fashion once in a while. But Anne definitely inspired me to go for a bigger change! I love her enthusiasm, thoughtfulness and creativity. Anne stands for what she believes in, she is a visionair and she always motivates me to step out of my comfort zone and just go for it!”
Anne continues: “Haha yes, I can be a quite radical sometimes. However, my strength is also my weakness. If you immediately want to do everything perfect, it can also be demotivating because it takes up too much time and energy. Elrike has helped me to see that change starts by taking small steps. So I stopped my crash diet in living a more sustainable lifestyle, to keep it up in the long term. Elrike also inspires me to value the journey itself, not only the outcome: the result is that we have much fun during our journey! Plus, she is the stylist of us two, she likes to discover the nicest brands and she makes really cool fashion combinations!”

“Anne she is a visionair,

she always motivates me to

step out of my comfort zone &

just go for it!”

Can you tell us your opinion on Fair Fashion, should it be normal that fashion is produced under fair circumstances? 

Yes, definitely YES! We think that fair circumstances should be the base. When you think about it is actually ridiculous that there are so many people making our garments while suffering to do that. It must be possible in a humane and equal way. Most fair fashion brands have a smaller production chain, which makes it easier to be in contact with the craftsmen in the ateliers and to control the circumstances in factories. This is a bigger challenge for big fashion companies, as they have many factories to control and less transparency in their chain. But we believe it is definitely possible and these companies should do everything they could to strive for fair circumstances and pay a fair price to everyone in the chain of fashion production. With our blog, we hope to inspire people to love clothes while at the same time honouring and respecting the people who made it. So that, as the German philosopher Kant said, we will treat humanity always ‘…at the same time as an end, never merely as means.’

What are your dreams for the coming years, work and world related?

Well we have seen parts of our dreams come true, as we see that there is a growing movement of people who are longing for a positive change in the current fashion industry. Consumers are becoming more conscious and the market of fair and transparent fashion brands has increased! We are very happy to see new cool and innovative brands emerge. Those new innovations, like the laser and ozone techniques MUD uses to give jeans that washed effect, bring up new chances for a more sustainable production and in the end a healthier world! We hope that more people will become aware of the current malpractices in the fashion industry and are willing to change (and realize that their buying behavior can make a difference!). With our blog we hope to contribute to this change in a fun way. Because fashion should be something to enjoy for everyone! And maybe one day we’ll start our own fair clothing label..

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The Tiny House of Marjolein

Have you ever heard of Marjolein in het klein? If not then it’s about time! 3 years ago the tiny house movement in the US stole Marjolein’s heart. However at that time, the word tiny houses has not arrived in her home, the Netherlands, yet. So she decided to take it in her own hands and started the tiny house movement in the Netherlands.

Why did you decide to move to a tiny house?

I used to live in Langedijk with my boyfriend at the time but we broke up and the house was too big for me. After living there for 12 years I wanted to change homes, somewhere with more nature around me was the most important thing. I really missed nature.

My dream since I was a little girl was to live in a little house in the woods so I looked for another house and all I could afford was really another apartment which I don’t like very much. I want a garden, I like to grow my own vegetables and herbs and have chickens and live a little more self-sufficiently.

I also wanted to decrease my ecological footprint cause I am really concerned about the state of the earth and the impact we are having on it and I want to pull in my weight.

So I was thinking, what house would make me happy and I was thinking, I want a small house where I use less water and energy and if possible even generate my own energy and be self sufficient in that too.

I also didn’t want a really high mortgage on my house for 30 years, I wanted to have the freedom in live to follow my heart.

So all in all it was a combination of my need for more nature, a smaller footprint and more freedom.

How was the transformation?

When I started I was quite naive. I thought I could just find a farmer with a big piece of land and he will rent out his land to me. But that’s not allowed in the Netherlands. There are no specific legislations for tiny houses so you have to work with the rules for normal houses. You have to comply to the building code. There’s a lot of rules that just don’t really work for tiny houses. The land zoning also needs to be living and that’s the most expensive, project managers are stealing away a lot of land and if you do find one, there are restrictions as to how small a house can be. In the past people were building apartments so small, they were not healthy anymore, so it’s basically against exploitation but in this new housing type it’s working against us.

How was it to let go of almost all your belongings?

Fortunately, I wasn’t really attached to stuff. But of course with free space comes stuff, so I had to get rid of a lot. I used the KonMari method, and it gave me a flying start. Marie Kondo is a Japanese declutter guru. With her method you work in categories. You start with clothing and throw everything you own on one pile, you pick everything up one by one and feel if it sparks joy, then you get to keep it and if it doesn’t you get rid of it. It works. I did it with clothing first and then books. Those were the two hardest for me. And when you know you’re moving into a tiny house you’re also motivated to throw away things.

What do you miss most of what you threw away?

I don’t miss anything I got rid of. You don’t need as much as we are made to believe we do.

We get bombarded by the messages that you will be happy or thinner or more successful if you get this or that item. And a lot of people get anxious, stressed, unhappy because we see what’s wrong with the society but we don’t know how to change it, so we try to fill this void with addictions and buying stuff cause it makes us feel good for a little while.

The hardest problem is that there is a lot of inequality and climate change and pollution and we need to fix that.

You also give lectures about the tiny house life, what do they evolve around?

The benefits of living in a tiny house and the freedom it brings. A lot of people want to change but don’t know how, and this is a fun and achievable way to move towards a greener lifestyle. It has impact in a lot of areas in your life. The 4 main benefits of living in a tiny house are: You save money • You declutter your home • You reduce your ecological footprint • You make time in your life to spend with loved ones. And it makes me happy this house. I love my house.

“By making a conscious choice for small and sustainable living you can actively contribute to a better functioning society and a healthier planet, while at the same time you create the freedom to follow your heart.”

Why is the tiny house movement becoming more mainstream?

We can’t ignore the facts anymore, and nature is hitting back. I think we are also getting tired of the rat race, and we feel in our hearts that it’s time for change.

We need to find the time to feel again, we’ve been living from our heads too much and not from our hearts. We need to live from our hearts more. To do that you need time. And to have time you need to not have to work so hard. And if you want a live in which you don’t have to work so hard you need to bring down the costs of your living. You can do that by living in a small house. I really believe we need to have more time to just sit and contemplate. Also not hide in our screens. I think the key is to take time to stop, look around and see nature and feel what’s going on inside of you.

If I would want to move to a tiny house now what would be the first steps?

I developed an online workshop on on how to move to a tiny house from A-Z. It will take you through which regulations are important to know and how to get in contact with the city counsel for locations and which groups there are to get in contact with.

You can also always come to one of our open house days, they are for free or contact me for counselling sessions for people that want to live in a tiny house. Cause there’s a lot of people who have that dream but have no idea how to make it happen.

I also set up which is like a real estate platform for tiny houses. It’s also for plots of land and products for tiny houses like solar panels, composting toilets, building materials.

But before that, it’s a big thinking exercise: What do you want in a house? How do you declutter? What do you have to think about when designing a tiny house? How do you get financing and insurance?

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Green energy and circular jeans, by now you may have heard that they work together because of their shared philosophy. 

An energy supplier and a denim brand obviously touch upon a very important topic in every person’s household: the energy bill! It’s not a sexy topic but we are here to share some incredible facts that make the energy bill a conversation topic over your next glass of wine.

Een energieleveranvier en een denim merk raken elkaar rondom een thema dat bij velen niet favorite zou zijn; de energierekening. We snappen het, het is niet datgene waar je het op een feestje over hebt, maar toch hebben wij wat leuke feitjes voor je die zelfs op een verjaardag uit de kast kan halen!


We all know: Dutch people love denim. But the way we treat our denim is not so green, to say the least. MUD Jeans and Greenchoice asked WiseWorks to conduct some significant research to get the facts out! Over 600 Dutch people aged 18+ were asked about their denim and washing habits. In this blog we will share a few facts with you, the full research can be downloaded below. The aim of the research? To educate people! So please, share the facts and let’s all get a little better in our washing behaviour. Saving on energy and CO2. 

We weten het al lang: Nederlanders houden van denim. Maar de manier waarop we onze jeans behandelen is niet zo groen. Zachts gezegd. MUD Jeans en Greenchoice vroegen onderzoeksbureay WiseWorks onderzoek uit te laten voeren om de feiten op tafel te krijgen. We hebben meer dan 600 Nederlanders van 18+ gevraagd naar hun was gewoonten. Het doel? Mensen bewust maken! Dus deel de feiten vooral en laten we onze wasgewoonten iets duurzamer maken. Want slimmer wassen bespaart op vele facetten! Denk aan water, energie en CO2.

The problem really is: people have no idea that washing less is better. But if you think about the wins: it is better for the energy bill, for the environment, for your precious time and for your jeans! Because 50% of the wear and tear of a jeans is caused by washing. And on average we spend 28 minutes per wash: sorting, folding, putting the clothing back in the closet. These two facts come from a research done by Polygiene and are highly relevant to our research.

Want to be flabbergasted by some more facts? Download the pdf with all the results.

Het probleem; mensen hebben geen idee dat minder wassen beter is. Maar wat blijkt; minder wassen is beter voor je energierekening, voor het milieu, voor jouw kostbare tijd en voor je jeans! Want 50% van slijtage van je jeans komt door het wassen. Gemiddeld besteden we 28 minuten per was; uitzoeken, opbouwen, kleding terug in de kast leggen. Deze laatste feiten komen uit onderzoek van Polygiene. Wil je de resultaten van ons onderzoek inzien? Vol met was en energie feitjes! Download de pdf met alle resultaten


Want to take action apart from changing your washing habits? We have some tips when considering your energy supplier. Because after all, when trying to live a more sustainable lifestyle it just feels good to know where your clothes are being made, what kind of food you are consuming but also to know where your energy comes from. Do you know much about your current supplier? 

We know about Greenchoice! Namely: they are the largest energy provider in the Netherlands that exclusively provides green, sustainable energy. All power and gas supplied by Greenchoice is from renewable sources. For example, they only use power from local sustainable sources and they plant trees to compensate for all gas emissions. They offer power from Dutch windmills.

And we have something for you: When you switch to Greenchoice now, you get a pair of MUD Jeans for free.

Wil je actie ondernemen buiten het aanpassen van je was rituelen? Wij hebben wat tips voor je die alles te maken hebben met je energieleverancier. Want, als duurzamer wilt leven dan is het ook goed om te bedenken waar je energie vandaan komt. Weet jij wie je huidige provider is?

Wij weten vooral alles van Greenchoice! Namelijk; de grootste Nederlandse energieleverancier die duurzame energie levert. Ze leveren groene stroom en bosgecompenseerd gas. Die energie haalt Greenchoice uit natuurlijke bronnen: zon, wind, water en biomassa. Nu al komt 75% uit Nederland.
Gaaf toch. En wij hebben een mooi aanbod; als je nu naar Greenchoice overstapt krijg je een MUD Jeans cadeau.

Want to know a little more first?

1. Go to and make your choice 1 or 3 years.

Ga naar en maak je keuze 1 of 3 jaar.

2. Register with Greenchoice for 100% green energy from Greenchoice.

Meld je aan bij Greenchoice voor 100% groene energie van Greenchoice.

3. Greenchoice will check your details and send you a confirmation of your registration.

Greenchoice controleert jouw gegevens en stuurt je een bevestiging van jouw aanmelding.

4. Greenchoice makes sure your old provider is informed  Everything is arranged for your transfer to Greenchoice and you receive real green energy from Greenchoice.

Greenchoice informeert je ouder leverancier zodat jij boetevrij kunt overstappen. Alles wordt geregeld voor jouw overstap naar Greenchoice en je ontvangt echt groene energie van Greenchoice.

5. MUD Jeans will send you an e-mail with a promotional code a few weeks after your registration via this website. You can order this code when you check out your next purchase via the website of MUD Jeans and order your free MUD jeans.

MUD Jeans zal je enkele weken na jouw aanmelding via deze website een e-mail sturen met een actiecode. Deze code kun je bij het uitchecken van je volgende aankoop via de website van MUD Jeans bestel je jouw gratis MUD jeans. 

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The Nordic Swan Ecolabel

mud jeans nordic swan ecolabel

We know there’s a jungle of certifications out there, and sometimes it’s hard to know which ones to trust and pick, even for us as a brand. That’s why we’re certification-skeptics here at MUD Jeans. Over the last one and a half years, however, we’ve been working towards a certification, we’ve been dreaming of since a long time. The holy grail of Scandinavian clothing certifications: The Nordic Swan Ecolabel.

mud jeans slow living sustainable lifestyle nordic swan ecolabel
9 of 10 Nordic consumers know the Nordic Swan Ecolabel and half of these look for it when they shop.

The Nordic Swan Ecolabel evaluates a product’s total lifecycle from raw material to waste or in our case recycling, taking into account environmental impact in each part of the supply chain. As a company we had to go through an extensive internal audit of one and a half years to dive into the details of our production processes and materials, from the recycled cotton to the dyeing and we even had to test our zippers!

mud jeans recyclable buttons rivets nordic swan ecolabel
Almost the whole collection, in this case 41 models, of MUD Jeans are officially certified with the Nordic Swan Ecolabel.

It rarely happens that a company can certify so many products in such a short period of time. This is mainly due to our transparent and flexible supply chain and structured way of using materials. We work with one fabric mill and one garment supplier. We don’t strive to only make one part of our jeans circular and sustainable but we look at the bigger picture.

What we have learnt
  • Due to the process of acquiring the Nordic Swan Ecolabel we have switched to even more sustainable buttons which are 100% recyclable, we can now start-up a recycle process for these as well.
  • This process has offered us 100% insight in our supply chain.
  • That we are blessed to have such a flat, clear and relatively short supply chain. This is how it was possible for us, as a very small company, to obtain this certificate.
  • This process confirmed how sustainable we actually are. From not using any plastic polybags to eliminating the use of potassium permanganate to using waste as a resource.

Textiles which have the Nordic Swan Ecolabel also provide a better working environment, since they are also tested for material health. Material health means that the resources and materials used in a product are safe for the consumer and everyone who gets in touch with them in the supply chain. In this way we are directly creating a better working environment for our factory colleagues.