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|Founder||Bert van Son|
|Headquarters||Almere, The Netherlands|
MUD Jeans is a sustainable and fair trade certified denim brand based in The Netherlands. MUD Jeans satisfies the principles of the circular economy. The main business concept of the company it to lease its apparel to consumers. After the lease period of one year, consumers can switch them for another pair and continue leasing, return them for recycling or upcycling purposes, or keep them. The lease contract includes free unlimited repair services. This concept is called Lease A Jeans and was launched in 2013. MUD Jeans sells the products online and is available in a limited number of sustainable concept stores around the globe.
The company was re-launched by Bert van Son after acquiring the brand in 2012. Bert van Son had a new vision for the company and decided to invest in MUD Jeans. From May 2016 to August 2918, MUD Jeans was headquartered in Almere, The Netherlands. In September 2018, the "MUDquarters" relocated to Laren, Netherlands at the Groene Afslag.
Lease A Jeans
The 'Lease A Jeans' concept was launched in 2013. With this concept, MUD Jeans follows a circular economy where the mindset of the consumer changes from owing to using. The concept also promotes the return of the jeans, which will stimulate the recycling process. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Bert van Son came to notice that in order to promote the return of jeans he has to avoid selling it in the first place.
The consumer can lease a jeans for a period of one year. Throughout this year, the monthly fee is €7,50 (with a one-time membership fee of €20 with which you can lease 3 jeans at a time). Around the eleventh month of the consumer's lease contract, MUD Jeans gives the consumer three choices concerning the jeans:
- Switch the current jeans for another pair and continue leasing the new pair of jeans for €7.50/month. The old pair will be recycled or sold as vintage depending on the condition of the jeans.
- Return the jeans without receiving a new pair. The old pair will be recycled or sold as vintage depending on the condition of the jeans.
- Keep the jeans. After the 12 months of monthly payments, the consumer has paid off the amount of the jeans and are now the owner. As MUD Jeans promotes the philosophy of a circular economy, they discourage this last option in order to recycle jeans.
Once jeans are returned to be recycled, the jeans are send back to the factory in Valencia, Spain, where the recycling process takes place. The denim fibres are reused in new jeans and sweaters. MUD Jeans currently sells sweaters which contain 85% recycled denim. Anyone can return (non-)MUD Jeans so that they can be recycled. To stimulate and encourage this, MUD Jeans offers the consumer who do this a discount on their next purchase.
The Recycle Tour
In May 2016, MUD Jeans travelled from Amsterdam to Valencia, where one of the factories is located. This road trip was planned to bring jeans back to the factory in order to close the circle. At the starting destination, Amsterdam, and along the way, jeans were collected from individuals who wished their jeans a next life. In Valencia, the MUD Team was able to see the whole recycling process and capture this to share with their followers. This initiative allowed them to bring back 3,000 pairs of jeans. The jeans that are recycled here, will be shredded and woven together with virgin denim into new fabric. The first batch of recycled denim jeans will be available as of fall 2016 and will be made of 20% recycled denim, which is the highest level of recycling that is possible with current technology. Throughout the road trip to Valencia, the MUD Team organised get togethers with other sustainable organisations and individuals, such as a beach clean up in collaboration with the Surfrider Foundation Europe.
On 6 June 2016, the first orders using RePackaging were sent to customers. RePack is a Finnish company offering the service of packaging which deliberately reduces the waste created when sending and returning packages. Packages used by firms can be used up to 20 times and customers and stores are incentivised to use RePack by offering discounts at connected brands.
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