Mud Jeans has a royal fanbase. The circular denim brand received the award for Sustainable Entrepreneurship 2022 presented by the King Willem I Foundation.
The King Willem I Foundation Award is the “most prestigious business award in the Netherlands,” the brand stated. Also known as the “Oscar of Dutch business,” it is awarded every two years to a large company, a small or midsize business (SME) and a company with a strong focus on sustainable entrepreneurship.
Queen Máxima of the Netherlands and Klaas Knot, jury chairman and President De Nederlandsche Bank N.V, presented the award to Mud Jeans founder Bert van Son during the ceremony. Van Son is also a finalist for the 2022 Rivet 50.
The two other finalists for the sustainable entrepreneurship award were Kipster B.V. and EMMA Safety Footwear.
Since its inception in 2012, Mud Jeans has prioritized closed loop and transparent manufacturing. Every pair of Mud Jeans is recycled into a new jean, leaving behind no waste and using 92 percent less water than an average jean. The environmental impact of its entire product portfolio is calculated through life cycle assessments.
The company is also a pioneer in how consumers acquire denim. The brand’s lease-a-jean program ensures that jeans that are no longer worn are returned to the brand to be upcycled and eventually recycled.
“Thanks to this clever construction, high-quality jeans that last longer end up being cheaper. It makes the absurd fast-fashion model, which leads to a textile waste mountain, redundant,” the company stated.
The King Willem I Foundation was established in 1958 to “give the national economy new impulses and thereby increase the prestige of the Dutch business community.”
The jury of the King Willem I Award consists of leading entrepreneurs and experts from Dutch business sectors. Queen Máxima is honorary chairman of the King Willem I Foundation. Maan Group, a R&D company in adhesive and surface technology, won the Koning Willem I Award 2022 in the SME category and NXP Semiconductors, a company that produces semiconductor metals for various industries, was the winner in the large companies category.