Estimated time to complete: 25 minutes
In this section you will:
Get to know our founder Bert van Son and learn what drove him to found MUD Jeans after decades of working in the fashion industry.
Learn about the creative ways that MUD Jeans recycles and repurposes old jeans.
Learn about the brand DNA and the different ways MUD Jeans is not just contributing to sustainable fashion, but also fighting climate change.
MUD Jeans is leading the way in creating circular design, ensuring waste and harmful practices become a thing of the past. Founder Bert van Son had a vision - to create affordable, high-quality garments without the damaging human cost and contribution to climate change. MUD Jeans has created a new way of doing fashion, one which tackles the massive problems that exist in the fast fashion industry.
Circular Economy - Understanding Circularity
Circularity is at the core of MUD Jeans’ business model. We design, produce, and sell keeping this model in mind. 100% of our styles are circular.
A circular system aims for a continuous use of resources, while slowly designing out waste. Unlike a linear economy, which just focuses on producing, using, and throwing away, in circularity you apply methods such as reuse, sharing, repairing, remanufacturing, and recycling in order to extend the life of the product and eventually close the loop by using that same material again. Through this method you are minimizing the use of new raw materials, as well as the creation of waste and pollution. Circularity is the most effective and sustainable approach to fashion.
“Waste isn’t waste until we waste it”
How is MUD Jeans Circular?
All good things must end, they say. Not for MUD Jeans. The life of a MUD Jeans never ends, it just restarts. When the jeans are no longer in good condition, they are recycled. In this process the jeans are shredded into fibres and remixed with fresh organic cotton to make new yarns. And so, the cycle begins again.
The elimination of waste is a key component of a circular business. MUD Jeans takes responsibility for the end of life of its jeans and prevents them from turning into waste. When the jeans are returned to MUD Jeans, we review them to check their condition. As the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Therefore, jeans that are still in good condition are washed and mended and sold as vintage. Once again, it’s all about extending the life of our product.
Design is about how you control how the product is made, how it lives, but also how it dies (dramatic, we know!). To be a circular brand, you need to think of all of these stages. After all, you want a high-quality pair of jeans, that lives a long time, but that can also be easily recycled and reincorporated into production. At MUD Jeans we do this by keeping it simple. We work with 10 different fabrics, one button, and one rivet. We have substituted the leather patch with a non-toxic printed-on version. There are two fabric compositions available. The rigid, which is made with 40% post-consumer recycled cotton and 60% GOTS certified cotton, and our stretch, which is made from 23% post-consumer recycled cotton, 2% elastane and 75% GOTS certified cotton.
All of our customers are given access to a free repair service during the first 12 months of their lease or purchase. Through this approach, we encourage our customers to value and take care of their jeans. A simple repair can extend the life of the product by a few months or even years. This has a tremendous positive environmental impact, as it conserves the original energy that went into making the product in the first place.
We maintain a very small supply chain. We work with 5 main supply chain partners. By having a small group of partners, we can foster better collaboration and innovation. It also gives us greater control over the making of our jeans. With a short supply chain, we know exactly who is making our jeans and how, as well as under what conditions they are being produced.
Lease A Jeans
MUD Jeans is unique for its Lease a Jeans model. Customers can lease a pair of jeans for 12 months for €9.95 per month. At the end of lease, they are encouraged to send back their old jeans and start a new lease, should they wish to. Through this model, our customers are able to enjoy the experience of owning a new pair of jeans, without the environmental anxiety. As a brand it gives us the opportunity to take responsibility for the end of life of our product. Purchasing a pair of jeans in full is of course also an option. Both leasers and buyers are given a discount when they return an old pair of jeans with their new purchase.
Here's how MUD Jeans produces sustainable jeans
On average a pair of MUD Jeans uses 477 L of Water (2020 LCA). Between 2019 and 2020 we have reduced our average water impact by 18%. Industry standard uses 7000 L to make a pair of jeans. Compared with this, a pair of MUD Jeans conserves 93% of water.
In 2020 we conserved 292 million litres of water. In the past 5 years, that has accumulated to 826 million litres of water. The equivalent of 330 Olympic size swimming pools. In the standard denim industry water consumption and toxification is one of the biggest areas of impact. MUD Jeans uses zero toxic chemicals and thanks to the innovative production techniques of our supply partners we can produce jeans with high water conservation standards.
Lease your jeans for a monthly fee
Through our lease concept, the customers can borrow our material in the shape of jeans and return it once they are done using it. Depending on the condition of the returned jeans, they are either upcycled or recycled and re-incorporated into a new pair of jeans.
Labour rights are both the legal rights and human rights of workers.
Labour rights are very important, as they ensure that employees are treated correctly at work and that their rights are protected. These rights ensure that, as an employee, you can say no to work you don’t want to do, that there is a limit to the number of hours you are expected to work. Should they want to, employees can also unite with their colleagues and bargain for improvements and change from their employer together. For MUD Jeans, the freedom and respect of all employees is paramount. We work hard to ensure full transparency within our supply chain, to make sure that everyone involved in the making of MUD Jeans is respected.
MUD Jeans Code of Conduct 1.2.1
“Workers, without distinction, shall have the right to join or form trade unions of their own choosing and to bargain collectively. The employer shall not interfere with, or obstruct, the formation of unions or collective bargaining.” ILO Conventions No. 87, No. 98, No. 135 and No. 154
Everyone is entitled to a safe working environment.
We pay the true cost of materials and services to ensure that the people behind our product receive a fair wage.
“Wages and benefits paid for a standard working week shall as minimum meet national legal standards or industry benchmark standards, whichever is higher. Wages should always be enough to meet basic needs, including some discretionary income.” ILO Convention No. 131
“There shall be no discrimination at the workplace in hiring, compensation, access to training, promotion, termination or retirement based on ethnic background, religion, age, disability, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, union membership or political affiliation.” ILO Conventions No. 100 and No.111 and the UN Convention on Discrimination Against Women