Nudie Jeans

Nudie Jeans is a Swedish denim company selling wholesale, retail and online. The company has made repair a key part of its business model with 35 repair shops globally where they encourage their customers to look after their used jeans rather than buy new ones.

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Nudie Jeans' customers can bring in their old jeans and get them repaired for free. The company's repair services are carried out both in-store and through local repair partners. They also sell free repair kits for those who want to pick up a needle and thread themselves. Jeans that are beyond repair are used for patching and in the brands’ ‘reuse collection’. Sandya Lang has been the Sustainability Manager at Nudie Jeans since 2011, working on the brand’s social compliance and transparency.

Sustainability is integrated into the business. We only use organic cotton for our cotton products, we pay our share of a living wage at selected suppliers and we offer a free repair service. Manufacturing of denim takes place in Italy and Tunisia.

Lang explains how repair is made easier when denim products are produced using monofibres - in other words 100% cotton denim with no elastane running through it.

Repair is not just an environmental act, it’s also in many ways an art form in its own right. “When you do repairs it makes the garment even more beautiful. So it can live for longer and grow more beautiful with time.”

Lang says that most of her jeans have been repaired several times and her kids’ jeans are also getting the repair treatment. “It’s definitely a service I’m using myself!

Monofibres also make products last longer and recycling easier. Nudie Jeans has a ‘Rebirth collection’ made from post-consumer jeans which are cut into pieces and then mechanically recycled into new fibres before being blended with virgin organic cotton. But Lang says there is a long way to go when it comes to textile recycling. “We need to scale up the post-consumer recycling industry so that old garments can become new garments. Unfortunately so much of textile recycling today is actually downcycling.

But, of course, environmental sustainability is about more than repair and recycling. Lang emphasises that the brand is also working to reduce emissions in our supply chain. “The emissions from the raw materials stage are significant. Scaling up emissions-reduction is a challenge we must meet.