The textile industry is responsible for mass over-consumption of resources and waste. It takes approximately 11000 litres of water to produce enough cotton for a single pair of jeans. Its production also results in water contamination and pollution due to pesticides and fertilisers and creates soil erosion and degradation. Cotton production however, which accounts for almost half of all textile fibre production, “provides income for more than 250 people worldwide and employs almost 7% of all labor in developing countries (WWF, 2015). The cotton industry is pivotal to our economy and cannot be stopped; instead we must find a way to reduce its ecological footprint.
Nudie Jeans is a Swedish denim company with a passion for sustainability. Their collection is comprised of 100% ethically sourced organic cotton denim. They allow complete transparency of the production of their clothing, letting consumers track every step of production from growth of the crop to transport, manufacturing and distribution.
(Nudie’s Repair Store <http://www.nudiejeans.com/repair/>)
What is most amazing about Nudie is how they combat waste of their products. They disregard the idea of ‘fast-fashion’, for them it is not about buying the new best thing every season, as jeans only get better with age. “Your jeans go where you go. They live your lifestyle. They get abrasions and scars. And they bleed. Just like you” (Nudie, 2015). Every pair of Nudie jeans comes with a lifetime warranty and when the inevitable happens and holes start to appear in your favourite pair of jeans, Nudie will patch and repair the damage for free as each of their shops is set up with a industrial sewing machine and specialised repair department however if location is a problem they send DIY repair kits in the mail. The Nudie repair shop concept was awarded ‘Sustainable Store of the Year’ by the Swedish Trade Federation.
(Nudie’s Recycled Rug project <http://www.nudiejeans.com/recycle/#/recycled-rugs/>)
“We love jeans, a passion we share with anyone who mourns a worn-out pair like the passing of an old friend” (Nudie, 2015). It is with this passion that Nudie takes back any of their customers worn out jeans for 20% off a new pair and recycles these old pairs, weaving the denim into beautiful woven rugs and stools or pulping the fibres, turning them into new denim fabric for their ‘post-recycle dry’ range. Nudie will do almost anything to keep their denim out of landfill, creating the ‘Denim Maniac’ project in which they collaborated with young designers who recycled old denim into couture runway creations giving new and vibrant life to scraps most people would throw in the bin.
(Nudie’s ‘Reuse’ Denim Maniac project <http://www.nudiejeans.com/reuse/#/denim-maniacs/>)
It is a mindset like this that makes Nudie part of the fashion revolution, finding beauty and inspiration in loved clothing. New is not always better. Cotton production is unavoidable but using it to it’s fullest potential is crucial.
World Wildlife Fund, 2015, ‘Sustainable Agriculture – Cotton’, Online Article, Washington, viewed 29 April 2015, <https://www.worldwildlife.org/industries/cotton>
World Wildlife Fund, 2015, ‘The Hidden Cost of Water, Online Article, Washington, viewed 29 April 2015, <http://www.wwf.org.uk/what_we_do/rivers_and_lakes/the_hidden_cost_of_water.cfm>
Nudie Jeans Co, 2015, ‘Recycling Jeans – Let Us Break It Down For You, Online Article, Sweden, viewed 29 April 2015, < http://www.nudiejeans.com/recycle/>
Nudie Jeans Co, 2015, ‘Nudie Jeans Denim Maniacs, Online Article, Sweden, viewed 29 April 2015, < http://www.nudiejeans.com/reuse/#/denim-maniacs/