When The Lease Concept Meets Fashion
We all know about leasing. Maybe we have experienced it first-hand by renting a car, laptop, TV or fridge with regular payments for a set amount of time.
Mud Jeans, a fast-growing circular fashion Dutch company, applied the lease concept of consumer durable products to clothing and, in particular, to jeans. It is the only organization in the world to offer that. A real innovative project in fashion towards sustainability and circular economy, designed for people who care about the environment. Customers wear jeans and give them back after use. This allows them to renew their wardrobe with high-quality denim while ensuring materials are recycled. The service is in line with the trend of the new generation, who are less interested in product ownership and more receptive to frequent usage and sharing.
Introduced in 2013, when also Airbnb started to grow, the service had its peak in 2020, accounting for 40% of the total online sales, as Danique Gunning, Marketing and PR Manager at Mud Jeans, reveals in an exclusive interview.
Over the years, the lease formula was simplified. This helped the online service available worldwide to become more popular. However, the pandemic undoubtedly contributed to the leap with a switch in consumers’ minds. In 2020, most of the consumers’ habits were turned upside down, including clothing style and wallet spending.
The lease consists of a 12-month membership with a fee of €9.95 per month. Once the period ends, the jeans can be returned, kept as paid off or swapped for a new model at €7.99 per month.
Mud Jeans strives to offer 100% responsibly produced denim. The returned jeans are recycled into new models. The percentage of recycled cotton varies from 23 to 40%, depending on the denim. In this way, up to 40% less water and cotton are used. By recycling Mud jeans as post-consumer waste, cotton traceability is 100% guaranteed. The old jeans are torn into fibers through a mechanical process, thus avoiding the use of chemical products. Then they are mixed with virgin organic cotton to increase the length and strength of the fibers. Organic cotton is ‘Better Cotton Initiative’ certified. Jeans can literally go through the shredder several times. Finally, only biodegradable indigo is used in the dying process.
Thanks to its circular process, the company was one of the first to qualify as a B-Corp, already in 2014. Certified B-Corps (short for Benefit Corporations) make business decisions that have a positive impact on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. With its current score, Mud Jeans is one of the top 5 best B-Corps in the Netherlands.
In a year that will be remembered for the coronavirus and where people have found themselves ‘less happy’, why not be ‘happy with less’ instead and make sustainable choices? Maybe a nice takeaway from 2020 to bring into the new year.