Every week we salute brands included in our Sustainable Brand Index. In focus this week: Nudie Jeans.
Nudie Jeans is perhaps most known for its progressive incorporation of sustainable practice into the designs and its supply chain transparency. In addition to that, Nudie Jeans offers in-store repairs in multiple countries, collects and recycles unwanted jeans and incorporates a growing amount of organically sourced fabrics into the product offering, making the brand a market leader in sporting the lasting appeal of denim. What else? Well, the company is member of the Fair Wear Foundation that strives to improve working conditions in the textile industry. Make it last chats with Eliina Brinkberg, CSR Manager for Nudie Jeans.
As one of the early adopters of sustainable fashion, tell us about how your journey started.
– The idea of taking responsibility for what we are doing has always been a part of Nudie Jeans. It was one of the reasons why Nudie Jeans started. Maria Erixon, one of our founders – and today Creative Director – wanted to make a product where she did not need to compromise, where she could bring consideration for the environment and human rights into every aspect of the production. From there on our sustainability work has continued to develop, and today it is a true integral part of the company, both in its vision but also in the everyday, practical work.
Nudie Jeans strives towards presenting an entire collection made from organic cotton. Are you exploring other environmentally friendly materials as well?
– Of course, we are constantly looking for new and sustainable materials. We have been using recycled wool for example and have also had styles in Tencel. When talking about sustainable materials we use Made By’s Benchmark for Fibres, class A and B as our definition of sustainable materials. Because our focus product is jeans, we have a large focus on the use of organic cotton. Our tees, sweatshirts and also the shirts that we make in India are also made out of Fairtrade (and organic) cotton.
– All of our designers, product developers and buyers share the view that we always look for sustainable materials and fabrics. These decisions are included in early stages of the design processes.
Nudie Jeans offers different sustainable solutions for repairing, recycling and reselling jeans. What’s the next step in this area?
– We are part of different research projects where the purpose is to develop recycled textiles, but the technique for doing this on a larger scale, and to create the textile quality that we would need, is still not out there. This is where our future challenges lay. First of all, we need to get back more jeans for recycling, or reuse, than we are doing today. As we strive for taking as much responsibility as we can for our products we want to recycle our clothing to other products that we can sell in our stores again. And in the future, recycle them again, and again. Right now we are selling our Bucket hat, Cap, and Rug.
– For now we have chosen to make our own solutions to the recycle challenges, such as making product of the fabric from old jeans rather than recycle it on a fibre level. Right now, and in the near future we focus on spreading the word to more customers about what we are doing. To get back more jeans to the stores; to repair more jeans, and to sell more second hand jeans. On a local store level, we are working close to a circular approach. Because most of the jeans that we receive that our customers don’t want any more become patches when we repair other customer’s jeans.
How does Nudie Jeans hope to develop its sustainability offer in the future?
– We want to open up more repair shops, so we can repair more jeans! To develop our second hand range to include second hand jackets and other pieces that, similarly to our jeans, only get more beautiful with time, is also an idea for the future. Of course we want to be able to create more products of reused denim fabrics. We also want to develop the sustainable material use in the product groups that we do besides the denim.
Eliina Brinkberg, CSR Manager at Nudie Jeans
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