Did you know that each year, 135 million kilos of clothes are burned in the Netherlands alone? And that producing one regular pair of jeans usually takes up to 7000 liters of water? This makes fashion the second most polluting industry. Shocked yet? So was Bert van Son in 2013 when he founded MudJeans, which is why he decided to offer an alternative to fast fashion after 30 years in the industry. “Sounds nice”, you may think. But how, and more interestingly, at what price?
Take an eternal classic piece present in basically every wardrobe and combine it with two of the most important social trends of the last years – et voilà Bert’s idea. What I’m talking about? Leasable, environmental friendly produced jeans made of a combination of recycled and organic cotton as one of the newest interpretations of the circular economy and general sustainability awareness. Yes, you read right, leasable clothes. If it it works for your car, why not for your bottoms? For a monthly fee of €7,50 (for 12 months) and a one-time only payment of €20 to join the community, you get a pair of brand new jeans, which you can either chose to return after 12 months in exchange for a new pair or keep them until they are worn out and you’re sick of them.
Either way, MudJeans relies on you returning the jeans once you’re done with them – as a little bonus they even offer a €10 voucher (or one free month of leasing) for future use on the website and in their stores. And this even for jeans from other brands, as long as they are made of at least 96% cotton. This way, the company gets to upcycle and renew those jeans that are still in good condition to be reborn as a unique vintage pair, which is even named after its former owner (how cool is that?) and to recycle the less lucky ones to become brand new material for future seasons and models, i.e. the circular economy aspect. Normal return options for wrong sizes/ colors and even a free of charge repair service are also part of the game, and MudJeans even treats you to the shipping charges.
Fig. 1: Product Lifecycle at MudJeans, Mudjeans.eu/about-mud-jeans (16.02.2018)
And what’s in it for you?
A great pair of jeans is like a best friend: reliable, boosting your confidence when it needs uplifting and always has your back (literally). But finding the right one can be tricky (duhh) and once successful, you may discover that the washing machine is not a great match for your young love, or simply that you grow distant after some intense months together. And then?
This is where MudJeans comes into play: instead of hoarding these memories as blasts from the past and letting them rot in your closet, you get to refresh your wardrobe without feeling guilty or even lumbering your closet. And this at a reasonable price. In addition, you basically get to save the world with 78% less water consumption compared to a regular pair of jeans, also due to 60% organic cotton used and 40% recycled jeans material*. Oh, and did I mention that they’re vegan?
Sounds nice, but..
I know what you think. Green fashion? Really? But in this case, green doesn’t have to exclude stylish. On the contrary, the #mudjeans community is full of young, hip individuals caring about the environment and the way they consume – which should include us all. And with their vintage jeans they even offer you the possibility to own a completely unique pair, for example with patches and/ or the destroyed look which you can select after choosing a color and size. For €68. Whilst sustainable fashion used to be unaffordable and/or “basic” to say the least, times have changed. With MudJeans, you have the possibility to contribute to a sustainable way of looking good – at a normal price. Contrary to fast fashion you furthermore know about where your clothes are being produced – and not only in which factory, but who owns it, how it looks inside, how many women they employ and even how many holidays employees get:
Fig. 2: Quick Facts about Production site, Mudjeans.eu/fair-factories-fair-wear-foundation (16.02.2018)
And apart from three sites in north Africa, this even takes place in Europe.
Fig. 3: Excerpt from the #mudjeans community/ugc (16.02.108)
Where can I get it?!
Ok, calm down. I know it’s a great idea – so go on www.mudjeans.eu or visit one of their hundreds stores from Iceland to Melbourne and try it out yourself!
MUD Jeans International B.V. (2018). No title. Retrieved February 16, 2018, from http://www.mudjeans.eu
Saarijärvi et al (2013), “Value co-creation: theoretical approaches and practical implications”. European Business Review
Carson et al (1999), “Understanding institutional designs within Marketing Value Systems”