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Leasing Jeans for a Circular Fashion Industry Solution by: Mud Jeans

Mud Jeans promotes usage over ownership, facilitating the transition to a circular economy in the fashion industry by leasing jeans and recycling or upcycling materials.

The Triple Bottom Line

Environmental As a pair of jeans requires up to 11,000 liters of water,1 the company reports significant savings due to its recycling of all materials.

Social Partnerships with the Max Havelaar Foundation and BSCI ensure that production respects workers’ well-being.

By retaining ownership of the raw materials, Mud Jeans makes the process of recycling a given. After a year of leasing a pair of jeans or a hoody, customers have the option of keeping it, switching it for a new model, or sending it back for reuse or recycling. Once recovered, Mud Jeans sells the used clothing as vintage or recycles them into new products. The manufacturing process itself is socially responsible, respecting workers’ rights. The ultimate aim is to demonstrate that even the traditional clothing industry can make the transformation to a circular economy. Why a Sustainia100 solution? Jeans are very water-intensive to produce with up to 11,000 liters required for just one pair. According to Mud Jeans, 135 million kilos of cotton are thrown out as waste and burned annually in the Netherlands alone. This company’s process creates clothing with far less water and without the use of substances that are harmful to the environment and people.

Economic Raw material prices will likely rise tremendously in coming years, adding to producers’ incentive to preserve ownership of materials.

Developed: The Netherlands

Returned jeans are shredded, blended with organic cotton, and reborn in the form of new products.

Deployed:  The Netherlands, and Germany 

1 WWF. “The Hidden Cost of Water.” Online:

“We want to make  good quality, ethical jeans  available to more people.” Bert van Son, CEO, Mud Jeans


Sustainia100 2014