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Hiut Denim’s Second Life Jeans Initiative Off to Strong Start

Welsh jeanswear brand Hiut Denim has successfully wrapped the first round of its Déjà Blue jeans buyback program that it launched at the end of July.

The initiative, which lets customers send back their pre-loved jeans in exchange for a 50 pound ($57.65) voucher towards a new purchase, collected 90 pairs, according to the brand’s press manager Emma Macleod.

These pre-owned jeans, which range from mint-condition raw to well-worn and distressed, will now be washed, photographed and put on the Hiut website for resale by early January. At that time, the send-back program will reopen for a second round.

“Giving a new life to a pair of jeans already makes sense to us. It is a small step towards answering the question we ask ourselves on repeat:​​​​​​​ How can we be lower impact today than we were yesterday?” the brand wrote in an Instagram post.

Macleod added that the inspiration for Déjà Blue was customer-driven. “There was a demand to resell pre-loved Hiut jeans ethically (we only accept back Hiut’s) and so the idea Déjà Blue was born,” she told Rivet.

Huit also asked customers to share personal stories about the jeans they were returning. “We have received so many stories, some very emotional,” she said.

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To mark the program’s launch, the Huit team painted a mural wall in its factory that reflects both the brand’s owl’s-face logo and the fading of the denim.

Déjà Blue is the latest in a long list of sustainable actions taken by the brand since it was founded 10 years ago in Cardigan by husband-and-wife team David and Clare Hieatt a decade after the town’s denim factory, which had been in service for three decades and employed around 400 people, shut down.

In February, Hiut debuted “Landfill Dropout,” a limited-edition capsule produced entirely from leftover scraps from previous collections, and in April last year it introduced the environmentally friendly, smell-suppressing OdorCrunch treatment by Swedish chemicals company Polygiene to its jeans. The year before it introduced a limited collection of biodegradable stretch denim made with fabric from Italian mill Candiani.