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Did MUD Jeans and Saxion University develop ‘the world’s first completely circular pair of jeans’?

Did MUD Jeans and Saxion University develop ‘the world’s first completely circular pair of jeans’?
By Antonia Vasile

Imagine a fashion world where clothes never go out of style, and the end of their life simply means the beginning of a new journey. MUD Jeans and Saxion University combined their resources and shared desire to create a 100% circular pair of jeans.

Everyone is talking about it, but what does ‘circular fashion’ actually mean? 🤔 Circularity in fashion is like a never-ending runway show, where old clothes are given a new lease on life instead of ending up in a landfill.

circular fashion
Circular fashion

Circular fashion is turning the traditional linear fashion model on its head by creating closed-loop systems where clothes, textiles, and accessories are kept in use for as long as possible. From recycling, upcycling, and rental models, to designing for longevity, circular fashion is the ultimate sustainable style statement.

Many brands and fashion companies are now taking steps to embrace circular models in a variety of ways. Some are implementing take-back programs to collect used clothing, others are developing new textile technologies, or incorporating more sustainable materials into their designs, while others are experimenting with new business models such as rental and subscription services. Despite these efforts, there are still many challenges that prevent the industry from becoming 100% circular, including a lack of infrastructure for textile recycling, a lack of consumer education, and the need for more government support and regulations to make circular practices more viable on a larger scale. But there’s a first for everything …


MUD Jeans and Saxion University innovating the sustainable market 

first ever fully circular jeans
MUD Jeans

Did you know that in the Netherlands more than 135 kg of textile is collected for recycling of which only 1% is actually recycled in new garments? Crazy right?

Recycled yarns are known to be more difficult to process, and until now, the production of fully circular jeans was technically impossible. Saxion University of Applied Sciences and MUD Jeans found a way to increase the percentage of recycled fibers without compromising on strength by combining mechanically recycled fibers with chemically recycled fibers for the first time and turning them into jeans. Dion Vijgeboom, Co-Owner of MUD Jeans, said “Chemical recycling does not sound sustainable, but it is nothing more than a collective term for the natural dissolution of cellulose material. We want to show that a world without waste – thanks to a circular economy – is possible and achievable.”

completely circular jeans
MUD Jeans

The brand uses 40% post-consumer recycled (PCR) denim to which organic cotton is added. This process results in 93 % less water and 74 % less CO2 used in production. Switching now to 100 % PCR denim, MUD Jeans is processing even more used jeans in the production process and therefore no longer needs to use virgin cotton. In the production of the prototype, only fibers from worn trousers were used. After almost two years in development, the jeans were officially launched during a live Road to 100 Watch Party.

“The textile waste mountain is growing steadily. We have now proven that we can manufacture new textile products from fully recycled materials. This not only reduces the size of the textile waste mountain but also the production of new materials.” said Maud Kuppen, researcher in textile and spinning technology at Saxion University.


Read more about MUD Jeans’ sustainability journey →

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