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MUD jeans: circular denims (almost) never die

Circular jeans from MUD Jeans with printed waistband label.

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
Netherlands
City: 
Laren

Language for original content:

Key Area:

Project elaborated in partnership: 
No
Submitted by: 
MUD Jeans
Start/End date: 
01/2012
Ongoing: 
Yes

Type of funding:

Description: 

MUD Jeans is a circular jeans brand from the Netherlands which has been applying a circular model to the production of jeans for a number of years. Customers can lease or buy MUD jeans, and return these to have them recycled into new denim products, thus saving water and resources. As it is important for MUD customers to wear their jeans as long as possible, MUD also offers a free repair service.

When customers no longer wear their jeans, they can send their old jeans back to MUD, which can reuse them. Consumers receive a discount on a new pair when they hand in an old pair. Non-MUD jeans are also accepted for recycling, the only condition being that the jeans must be at least 96% cotton.

When old (MUD) jeans are sent back to the firm, a small quality check is carried out: if they are still in good condition, they are given a second life through MUD's vintage program (re-use). If they are irreparably worn out or from another brand, jeans are mechanically recycled at MUD's recycle factory in Spain (recover@), where the worn jeans are shredded into small pieces and processed back into recycled fibers.

Fibers then go to MUD's fabric manufacturer, Tejidos Royo, also in Spain. Here the fibers are mixed with organic GOTS certified cotton and yarn is spun from it. The yarns are dyed and woven into fabrics. The resulting fabrics contain between 23-40% post-consumer recycled cotton fibers made from old worn jeans.

The fabrics go to MUD's jeans manufacturer, Yousstex International, in Tunisia, where they are cut, sewn into jeans and washed.

As soon as the jeans are ready, they come to MUD's warehouse in the Netherlands. From there the jeans are sent to MUD's B2B and B2C customers.

Main results: 

MUD jeans have clear environmental benefits due to the way the jean design process has been set up:

  • Only 4 different types of fabrics, one type of material for buttons and rivets and one type of stitching yarn are used to manufacture MUD jeans.
  • The composition of the fabric and the design of the jeans ensure that MUD products are easily recyclable. They contain between 23-40% of post-consumer recycled cotton, supplemented with global organic textile standard (GOTS) cotton.
  • Circular production techniques are used throughout the supply chain to minimize MUD's impact on the environment.
  • MUD jeans are not "washed", but techniques such as laser and ozone are used to minimize water consumption. The indigo dye is Cradle 2 Cradle certified.
  • 78% water and 61% CO2-eq per jeans are saved compared to industry standards. These savings have allowed MUD to save 300 million liters of water and to avoid the emission of 700,000 kilos of CO2 in the last 3 years.

In addition, to ensure the highest level of social standards, MUD only works with 3 supply chain partners. The company has a very close relationship with these suppliers and visits them regularly while also conducting audits. MUD strives to pay every employee in the supply chain a fair living wage above the minimum wage.