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100% Post-Consumer Recycled Cotton Denim Is in Mud Jeans’ Future

Mud Jeans wants to be known for more than its jeans leasing program. The Dutch brand recently published its second-ever cradle-to-grave life cycle analysis (LCA) report and announced a new initiative, Road to 100, to produce a denim fabric that is made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled cotton.

Working with Saxion University in The Netherlands, non-profit Circle Economy and recycling facility, Recover, the brand aims to accomplish its goal by mid-2020.

Road to 100 would considerably ramp up Mud Jeans’s efforts to reduce its consumption of raw materials, which is responsible for 42 percent of the company’s environmental impact, according to its sustainability report. The brand currently offers jeans made with 23 percent to 40 percent post-consumer recycled cotton.

Road to 100, however, is one of many strategies the brand is executing to reduce its environmental impact and use fashion as a force for good, according to the report. Most notably, the brand highlighted impressive water and energy-saving statistics. From 2016 to 2019, Mud Jeans decreased its CO2 and water impact by 20 percent and 61 percent, respectively. During that time period, it saved 533 million liters of water. The result, Mud Jeans reported, means it uses 92 percent less water per pair of jeans compared to the industry standard.

Though the company attributes its sustainable qualities to its simple design and production methods—it works with just seven suppliers—it is seeking ways to reduce the environmental impact of its manufacturing. In the report, Mud Jeans reaffirmed its commitment to work with supply chain partners to find alternative techniques, specifically energy-saving ironing and sewing methods.

The company has also identified several areas of improvement for the brand, including its need to adopt foam dyeing—a waterless dyeing technique that significantly reduces the use of chemicals—throughout its supply chain. While the method is currently used in one of its five fabrics, Mud Jeans said it must be rolled out to the remainder. This year, the brand also plans to provide social audits to better evaluate wages and the working environment at its Tunisian factory, Yousstex International.

Looking ahead, Mud Jeans has set a goal to be carbon positive by 2021. In addition, the company aims to provide full traceability information for each of its jeans, and earn a higher score in its B Corp recertification.