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DFF: 'Sale and return' jeans for eco-conscious denim wearers

Mud Jeans chief executive explains the strategy behind his eco-friendly jeans

“Is anybody wearing jeans today?” asked Bert van Son, chief executive at Mud Jeans, as he took to the stage at Drapers Fashion Forum in London yesterday.

A few hands went up in the crowd of 300 delegates.

“Are they organic cotton?”

Silence.

Van Son explained how the four-year-old company has targeted the eco-conscious customer by adopting the principle of “circular economy”, or consciously considering the making of a product from pre-production through to end of use.

“Our target is customers who are thinking about tomorrow,” said van Son.

His scalable environmentally friendly business model includes “laser stone-washing” instead of water stone-washing, which he said can damage cotton fibres with chemicals.

The Dutch brand also uses cotton detailing instead of metal grommets and leather labels, so the whole article can be shredded into cotton and reused.

Mud encourages customers to return their jeans, which retail at €98 (£86), for resale, for which they receive a €10 discount on their next pair. The returned pair is washed, repaired and sold second-hand.

“Leasing jeans” is another Mud initiative. Shoppers pay €7.50 a month for a pair of jeans, which, after a year, can be switched for a new pair or returned. Jeans cannot be leased from the retailers that stock Mud Jeans throughout Europe.

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