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One of the world’s first circular denim brand: meet Lea Landsberg, MUD Jeans’ CSR Officer
We chatted with Lea Landsberg, MUD Jeans’ Corporate Social Responsibility Officer to discuss with what vision MUD Jeans was born, what they would like to see more in the fashion ecosystem and what the future has in store for the brand
Born in 2012, MUD Jeans is the first circular denim brand, but what does this mean?
“We take back our old jeans and make new jeans out of them. We do this because we think it is time the fashion industry takes responsibility for its waste. Apart from recycling our old jeans, we also care for sustainability across every aspect of our production process
From the organic and recycled cotton we use, to our innovative production techniques, such as our dry indigo method which requires no water and almost 90% less chemicals than traditional dyeing methods!” Lea explains
And because sustainability goes beyond the environment, we take care that everyone involved in the making of our jeans is treated fairly
“This is verified through our code of conduct and third party audits! We have maintained a short supply chain and foster close relationships to all of our supply chain partners – something we see lacking across the fashion industry…” Lea continues
But that’s not the only thing they’d like to see changed in today’s fashion industry…
To name just three things we at MUD Jeans would like to see more of: responsibility, right priorities and transparency
Responsibility: We believe it is time that brands take responsibility for the waste they create. We hope to show that this approach is possible and want to inspire others to do the same. If they want to know how, they can read all about it on our website – we encourage copy cats.
Right priorities: Constantly innovating, choosing the most sustainable materials and paying fair prices comes at a cost – but it is time to begin prioritizing our planet over margins. Innovative sustainable solutions are out there and need to be utilized.
Transparency: For too long, the fashion industry has been incredibly secretive about how and where they produce – and under what conditions. We believe radical transparency is urgently needed, which is why we share our entire supply chain on our website and regularly take you behind the scenes of the factories we work with.
“I think for many the concept of sustainability is something they strive for but, when trying to define it, it becomes quite abstract. Especially with the amount of greenwashing across all industries, it is hard to put your finger on it. For me it’s quite simple…”
To me, sustainability is trying your best to respect our planet and those that live on it and not getting discouraged when your approach not yet perfect!
“In regards to sustainable habits, some things are quite obvious: buy less, buy better (high quality & embodying your values) and care for what you wear. But one thing that is often forgotten when it comes to clothing: wash less. Especially when it comes to denim, it doesn’t need to be washed if it’s not actually dirty and your beloved jeans will last you so much longer if you stick to this approach!” she continues
The unique thing about us… is our recycling approach!
“According to our knowledge, our jeans use the highest percentage of post-consumer recycled denim across the industry and there is no other denim brand that takes back all of their old jeans.
Indeed, as far as we know, we are the only brand that take back their old jeans to make new ones out of them. By these old jeans we mean the jeans that our customers once purchased from us and that have eventually reached the end of their life. We then check these jeans and if they are still good enough to wear, they form part of our vintage collection. If not, we recycle them to make new jeans out of them!
This approach is also encouraged through our Lease a Jeans concept, where customers can lease their jeans instead of owning them and send them back to us for recycling when they are done wearing them” Lea explains
And how does the future look like?
“We constantly aim to innovate and introduce more sustainable production approaches. However, one thing we are especially proud of is our Road to 100 project, with which we have recently been reaching new milestones. This project aims to create the first jeans made from 100% post-consumer recycled denim. Using only recycled cotton will allow us to significantly further reduce our environmental impact, especially in terms of water consumption reduction.
Reusing materials is one of the best ways to reduce our impact on the planet and maintain the current quality of life for future generations
This planet has plenty, but nevertheless limited, resources. The industry, in particular fashion, currently functions in a very linear way where resources are used to make products which are then usually discarded after a short amount of time. At MUD Jeans, we take back our customer’s old jeans to reuse their materials and make new jeans out of them. The ultimate goal is to keep materials in a loop for as long as possible and promote a circular economy, as opposed to a linear one.
This also represents an important step in tackling the textile waste issue within the fashion industry. Globally, 92 million tonnes of textile waste are created every year, of which a significant proportion is post-consumer waste. The Road to 100 project directly contributes to solving this problem and will allow us to steadily reduce the amount of raw materials we use” Lea concludes
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