The second lesson will introduce MUD Jeans and show how the company is leading the way towards a model sustainable fashion industry and circular economy. The section will show how MUD Jeans was founded, and explore the driving focus behind Bert's decision to create a sustainable fashion company. Through videos and text, this section will show how Bert's (our Founder) dream became a reality, and look at the core brand DNA which is driving MUD Jeans to become a key player in the world of sustainable fashion. Explore the unique and innovative ways MUD Jeans are reducing water usage and recycling old denim to create new and exciting products.

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 wants to lead the way in creating circular design, ensuring waste and harmful practices become a thing of the past. Our Founder Bert van Son had a vision - to create 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?

Circularity is at the core of MUD Jeans’ business model. We design, produce, and sell keeping this model in mind.
Each section of the diagram below is an important step in making a pair of circular MUD Jeans. We think very carefully about the material we use, how we design the jeans, who we work with and how we sell our product. When all the steps come together, the outcome is a pair of jeans that is of high quality, stylish, and limitless in life and potential. These jeans will live many lives.


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.

Circular Design

To create truly circular products that can be recycled at the end of their life, we keep things simple. We work with a small number of different fabrics and prioritise the use of cotton over synthetic fibres. Most of our jeans are made from a mix of post-consumer recycled cotton and organic cotton while our stretch denim typically contains a maximum of 2% recycled elastane. We also have a non-toxic printed back label and use buttons, rivets and zippers made from 100% stainless steel.


All of our customers are given access to a free repair service during the first 12 months of their lease. 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 consciously maintain a small supply chain. We work with 3 recyclers, 3 fabric producers and 1 jeans manufacturer. This gives us a better oversight over who is making our jeans, how, and under what conditions. It also means we can better foster collaboration and innovation. This way we have implemented methods such as dry indigo dyeing and water recycling across our supply chain.

Lease A Jeans

MUD Jeans is unique for its Lease a Jeans model. Our customer can lease a pair of jeans for 12 months for a monthly fee. After 12 months customers can either keep their jeans or send them back to us for recycling. This model gives us the opportunity to take responsibility for the end of life of our product, as it encourages customers to send their jeans back once they no longer wear them.

Here's how MUD Jeans produces sustainable jeans

On average a pair of MUD Jeans uses 400 liters of water (2022 LCA). Industry standard uses 7000 L to make a pair of jeans. By using using recycled cotton, recycled water & water-saving production techniques, a MUD Jeans saves 72% water on average.

In 2022 we conserved 48.7 million litres of water. 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.

On average, a pair of MUD Jeans uses 3,4 Kg of CO2e (2022 LCA). By using recycled cotton, renewable energy & energy-saving production techniques, a MUD Jeans saves 41% CO2 on average.
Our supply chain partners show true initiative in this area. Recover and Ferre use 100% renewable energy in their production and Tejidos Royo is energy self-sufficient through its co-generation station.

The impact

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.

Safety at work relates to the building you work in, to the tools you use, as well as the environment, conditions, and people you are exposed to. It is about respecting the value of life of every individual, and the value of their work. Therefore, as a business we want to make sure everyone involved in the making of MUD Jeans has their health and safety prioritized.
MUD Jeans Code of Conduct 1.6.2
“The working environment shall be safe and hygienic, bearing in mind the prevailing knowledge of the industry and of any specific hazards. Hazardous chemicals and other substances shall be carefully managed. Adequate steps shall be taken to prevent accidents and injury to health arising out of, associated with, or occurring in, the course of work, by minimising, so far as is reasonably practicable, the causes of hazards inherent in the working environment.”

We pay the true cost of materials and services to ensure that the people behind our product receive a fair wage.

As you go down the supply chain, ensuring this can be tricky, particularly for raw materials such as cotton. MUD Jeans has specifically chosen to only use virgin cotton that is GOTS Certified. GOTS, unlike other certificates, ensures that the farmers are treated well and are paid fair wages.
MUD Jeans Code of Conduct 1.7
“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
Equality is about ensuring that everyone is treated as equal, regardless of their race, gender, or age.
At MUD Jeans we are strong supporters of this notion and through our Code of Conduct we ask our suppliers to follow it too.
With women making up 80% of the garment workforce, we want to ensure that they are being given equal opportunity and treatment. At Yousstex International, men and women are paid equally. Distinction in salary is based on job/position in the factory.
MUD Jeans Code of Conduct 1.4
“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


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