Dutch denim brand G-Star Raw is attempting to keep pairs of jeans in rotation for longer with a pilot program called G-Star Raw Certified Tailors.
After selecting six tailors around the Netherlands and training them on the most common repair requests for jeans, G-Star awarded them with a “certification” indicating their G-Star Raw denim expertise. The program allows customers to repair their jeans free of charge at select locations with G-Star footing the bill for services.
Though launching exclusively in the Netherlands, the program will likely expand to other countries after its year-long trial period. The brand will measure success by reviewing the number of repairs as well as customer and tailor feedback before deciding on its plan for expansion. Customers can find each of the certified locations on both the G-Star website and its social media channels.
Repair services are just one part of consumers’ sustainable journey. Buying high quality, sustainably made denim is another. G-Star is known for its circular practices, and was the first in the world to bring C2C Certified Gold denim fabric into the market in February 2018 under the name Kir Denim Organic. It has since developed an expansive library of Cradle to Cradle (C2C) Certified denim fabrics, most recently with the C2C Certified Gold Melfort Denim O, a lightweight fabric made of 100 percent organic cotton.
Considering all that goes into creating a new pair of jeans—from the water needed to grow cotton to the energy needed to produce the garment, and everything in between—extending their lifecycle is one of the simplest ways to honor the environment. But just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s easy. A recent report from online retailer Zalando shows that many consumers say one thing and do another when it comes to sustainability: While 58 percent of people consider it important to repair clothing, only 23 percent routinely repair their clothes.
Other brands have championed denim repairs to extend jeans’ lifecycles and promote circularity. Possibly the brand best known for its repair services, Nudie Jeans promises customers “free repairs forever” on its wares, regardless of when or where they were purchased. The brand had a total of 43 repair spots in 2020, with plans to add 50 more in owned stores, partner stores or repair partners in the coming years. At these hubs, jeans can be repaired, resold as secondhand items or donated to the Nudie Jeans recycling program.
Canadian performance denim and apparel brand Duer also offers free repairs on its jeans at the label’s newest brick-and-mortar location. Customers can receive free repairs for one year after purchase. Levi’s has also joined the mix by offering repair services at its in-store tailor shops. Customers are encouraged to extend the life of their jeans by having its expert tailors cover rips with unique patches, mend hems and replace buttons.