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How Salsa Jeans Is Contributing to the Repair Economy

Salsa Jeans introduced a new program to extend the life of its jeans. The Portuguese women’s and men’s brand launched the Infinity Project, an in-store repair and takeback program.

Customers can bring their Salsa denim to a brand store for mending, alterations or customization. Services cost 5 euros ($5.30) for repairs like broken belt loops, undone seams and localized tears or rips, to 20 euros ($21) to alter the size.

Salsa Jeans will donate or recycle garments beyond repair. For each discarded denim item, customers earn 200 rewards points to use toward services adding patches and pins to jeans, or work with an in-store stylist. Points can also be applied to future repairs.

“We believe that denim can last forever, and this is what our Infinity program is all about: reusing and giving our jeans the longest possible life cycle,” the brand wrote on its website.

The Infinity Project supports Salsa’s “Become” sustainability plan anchored by the mission to make all its denim waterless by 2023. The brand’s Betterwash washing process, combined with existing technology like laser and ozone, makes it possible to use an average of 58 percent less water. The process is certified by Control Union.

Led by brands like Nudie Jeans and Levi’s, in-store repair and mending services are becoming common place in the denim space, especially as consumers tightening their purse strings look for ways to do more with less. “With pressures on consumer discretionary spend and ever-increasing sustainability concerns, more shoppers than ever before are looking to care, repair and re-wear,” WGSN stated in a recent report.

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Scotch & Soda’s Amsterdams Blauw denim store in the heart of Amsterdam’s historical center is now home to the Dutch apparel brand’s first upcycled denim repair service. Repairs are offered in collaboration with the United Repair Centre, an initiative from Makers Unite, an Amsterdam-based textile production company that provides training and employment opportunities to creative newcomers from an immigrant background. Through the repair program, customers will receive complimentary repairs to their Amsterdams Blauw jeans with a turnaround time of seven business days.

Fellow Dutch label G-Star Raw launched G-Star Raw Certified Tailors last spring, offering customers in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium free access to tailors knowledgeable in common denim repair and tailoring requests. Services span repairing broken zippers and buttons to restoring wear and tear.

This spring, Uniqlo launched basic on-site repairs in New York City. Re.Uniqlo Repair Studio is a hub for replacing shirt buttons, mending seam rips, and patching holes. All repairs cost $5 and are done by Uniqlo’s alterations staff. Additional repairs may also be addressed based on customer needs.

“Offering free or low-cost repairs makes a statement of intent about brand garment quality, as well as extends an invitation to an ongoing relationship with a customer: the transaction doesn’t end at point of sale,” WGSN stated.