Most of us live in them, some of us even bath in them – there is rarely a wardrobe without them, so of course one of the sustainable fashion swaps we first had to cater for was jeans! We dialled up the Dutch fashion brand with the aim to make fashion circular – Mud Jeans. Envisioning a world without waste, they are not just all talk. Mud will take back your old jeans, shred them into small pieces, blend them with organic cotton, and turn them into a new pair of jeans… Meaning every new pair of jeans come preloved.
Why did you call your sustainable jeans brand Mud?
Mud is a mixture of water and any combination of soil, silt and clay, and usually forms after rainfall or near water sources. Mud plays an important role in the marine ecosystem. The activities of burrowing animals and fish have a dramatic churning effect on muddy seabeds. This allows the exchange and cycling of oxygen, nutrients and minerals between water and sediment. Animals bathe in mud or cool off and protect themselves from the sun. We use mud to build shelter and bathe in. But most important of all, mud can be recycled eternally. So it’s one of the best examples in nature of the circle economy – something we aspire to at Mud!
Was there a defining point in your career in fashion that drove your desire to launch a sustainable fashion business?
I have worked 35 years in the fashion industry and saw the industry change from something beautiful (clothing to protect yourself and make you feel good) into a throwaway item. I sold my company in France in 2008 and took some years off and then in 2012 decided to create an example company for jeans – the most sold and most dirty product in the industry – to show that things can be done differently.
Have you encountered any significant challenges on your journey with MUD?
Values in the supply chain are not the problem – all currently existing techniques can be done more sustainably. The problem is the great public being superficially pouched into cheap fast fashion by large marketing instruments.
Dyeing and finishing jeans is often filled with chemicals, how does Mud do it differently?
Our jeans consist of 40% recycled denim – our ambition is to get to 100% recycled denim. We reduce the use of water and chemicals because most of our finishes are created through ozone and laser techniques – they are referred to as ‘washes’ but are actually not a wash since no water has been used in the process. These finishes look a little different from the finishes you have seen before, but they tell a story, for example the indigo dye used for the collection is Cradle 2 Cradle certified.
What has been your bestselling pair of MUD jeans to date?
The Mud Jeans Skinny Hazen, the ultimate pair of jeans every woman needs in her wardrobe. Slim, elegant, easy to combine with your existing wardrobe.
How can MUD customers best care for their jeans at home?
Great question! We just conducted
1) Wash less. Only wash when your jeans are actually dirty. Sounds logical, yet we tend to forget and wash out of habit. The real denim enthusiasts suggest only washing your jeans a few times a year.
2) Use vinegar. If you want to wash your jeans, do not use detergent and softener but switch to white vinegar.
3) Take a bath with your jeans. Fill your tub with water, put on the jeans and step in the tub. Stay there until the water has cooled down, then air dry in the sun.