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Mud Jeans Carries Its Circular Story Into Its First Store

As brands struggle to find the right balance between online and physical retail, and seek effective ways to share sustainable stories, Mud Jeans is stepping up to both challenges.

The Dutch brand, known best for its jeans leasing program, opened its first brick-and-mortar location outside of Amsterdam in Laren, where its headquartered.

While Mud Jeans sells online and through wholesale partners around the world, its own store essentially serves as a showroom, allowing consumers to touch and try-on before they lease. Located inside De Groene Afslag, a shared working space for businesses and individuals focused on sustainability, the store features an expansive inventory of Mud’s jeans styles, sizes and colors. Once customers find their fit, they can decide to lease the jeans and have them sent to their home. The store stocks no inventory.

This “less is more” strategy complements the brand’s efforts to create a circular economy. In 2013, Mud Jeans introduced its leasing program. Customers pay a monthly fee and can lease a pair for one year, after which they can either keep the jeans or trade them in for a new pair. The used jeans will then go back into the lease program or are recycled.

The sustainable story is carried through its products, too. The brand uses organic cotton and recycled cotton throughout its production. Jeans are trimmed with recyclable paper labels and 100 percent stainless steel hardware.

Mud Jeans was one of the first to embrace a circular economy, but it’s far from the last.

Each season, the denim industry is adopting sustainable practices that are moving toward a circular direction. This week Lenzing announced it reached a new milestone with the first successful production of Tencel Lyocell fibers using post-consumer cotton waste. Recycled polyester and recycled cotton were a large part of the offering at Kingpins in New York City last month.

In the Netherlands, where Mud is based, the Dutch government plans to achieve a full circular economy by 2050. The brand’s circular program is projected to significantly reduce water consumption and CO2 emissions, and the impact could be even greater if adopted by other leading brands.