MUD Jeans are a fair trade certified, ‘sustainable’ denim brand based in The Netherlands. Since 2013, the Dutch company has been offering consumers a pioneering ‘Lease Your Jeans’ system.
How does ‘Lease Your Jeans’ scheme work?
Customers pay a MUD membership fee of €29, and then they can lease a pair of jeans for a monthly cost of €7.50. Once the jeans are worn out, or if the wearer feels like a change after 12 months, they can return the jeans and switch to a new pair. MUD Jeans then recycle the old pair into new items.
Each pair of MUD jeans uses 23-40% recycled cotton fibres, and they also use as few chemicals as possible, as well as offering free repairs for wearers. By leasing jeans and recycling/upcycling the materials, MUD paves the way forward for a circular economy within the fashion industry.
Why Lease Your Jeans?
The fashion industry adds a significant contribution to the planet’s environmental problems. With the responsibility not put on their shoulders by the consumer or even the government, many brands are happy to look the other way. Very few brands will take full responsibility for their products. That’s why MUD has created this rental model for jeans in an attempt to make fashion more sustainable.
Fast fashion, and nearly all mainstream fashion, works on a linear model. A standard pair of jeans is made, sold, worn and burned as trash or discarded to landfill, creating significant harm to the environment.
MUD jeans are making the shift from a linear design to a circular one. They recycle their old jeans and therefore don’t see those old jeans as waste but as valuable input for something new. Reusing cotton means MUD can generate a positive impact, cutting down on water and waste.
MUD Jeans and Sustainability
The circular economy guides every decision made at MUD Jeans. From the design of their jeans to taking back customers’ worn MUD Jeans for recycling. MUD states that their ultimate goal is a world without waste. This is where the product-as-a-service idea comes from- by leasing a pair of MUD jeans, you are only paying for the service of using that product.
During production, an average pair of jeans uses 7,000 litres of water. MUD Jeans use 577, so with every jean purchased they save 6,423 litres of water. Up until 2019, MUD had saved over 550 million litres in total. MUD also ensures that if water is used in production, it comes out clean, with water recycling and innovative washing techniques at the factories they work with making this possible.
MUD Jeans are carbon neutral. Production decisions, such as the use of renewable energy in factories, offsetting their emissions, and the use of recycled cotton have helped to ensure this. They teamed up with Ecochain to conduct a Life Cycle Assessment and found 714kg of CO2 is emitted, creating one pair of MUD Jeans- 69% less than the industry standard! MUD Jeans are now looking to become carbon positive in the future.
MUD has saved over 20,000 jeans from landfill and incineration and turned them into new denim through the ‘Lease A Jeans’ scheme. MUD also collects jeans that consist of more than 96% cotton and send them to the recycle factory Recovertex in Spain. In collaboration with denim experts in Valencia, their fabrics are made with up to 40% recycled post-consumer denim.
MUD has eliminated all toxic chemicals such as potassium permanganate from their production processes, replacing it with innovative techniques including laser, ozone and E-flow.
For more information on MUD Jeans and their efforts to ensure a circular economy, you can find out more here.
Further Reading: Sustainable Fashion Rental Model: Hack Your Closet. Read More