Introduction to MUD Jeans

It all started in 2012 when Bert van Son founded MUD Jeans. With over 30 years’ experience in the fashion industry, he has seen it all. He witnessed that life for factory workers is extremely demanding, and that the endless demands for material, due to exploded production, are ruining our planet.

He wanted to do things differently. Today, MUD Jeans has become an exemplary circular fashion company, consistently putting the circular economy principles into practice.

Dutch denim brand MUD Jeans is all about sustainability. MUD uses a combination of GOTS certified organic cotton and post-consumer recycled cotton. Not only does it offer a repair service, but it also provides a rental service where you can lease a pair of jeans for up to a year.

Where fashion meets love for our planet


Carbon Footprint, high

MUD Jeans is the world’s first circular denim brand. By applying the principles of the circular economy they’re reducing their environmental footprint.   Producing one pair of MUD Jeans emits 7.14 kg of CO2.

This is 70% less than industry standard. The savings come from the use of low energy production techniques, land and water transportation and the use of recycled cotton. MUD Jeans targets for 2030 are to reduce the average CO2 impact per jeans by 80%, compared to 2022, and to reduce the average water consumption per jeans by 80% compared to 2022.

Ecological Impact, high

LCA stands for Life Cycle Assessment or Life Cycle Analysis. It is a quantitative method that helps businesses calculate and evaluate the environmental footprint of their products. In 2019 MUD Jeans produced their first updated LCA report with the support of Ecochain.

MUD Jeans goals for 2025 are to achieve 100% circularity, ground 100% post-consumer recycled denim products within their collection, further investigate and improve the durability of their jeans, and introduce elastane alternatives within our stretch denim.

Energy Consumption, high

Overall, we can see a relatively evenly distributed impact across production steps, but spinning, weaving and washing have among the highest impacts.

Throughout their Supply chain, they want to prioritize energy-efficient production techniques and the use of renewable energy sources. Tejidos Royo, their fabric mill, has a cogeneration station, where steam from the factory boilers is used to generate electricity.

Freight Density, high

MUD Jeans has full traceability of every item that goes into the making of their jeans.

This means that they know where their materials come from and who is making their jeans. MUD Jeans is unique for the direct relationship that they hold with our supply chain partners.

Recycling Rates, high

To minimize plastic waste, MUD uses packaging that consumers can repurpose and reuse. Also, 97% of their jeans contain recycled content, 32% of which are made with 40% post-consumer cotton, the highest percentage out there.

Plus, with every MUD purchase, consumers can send any old jeans back to MUD Jeans for recycling. In 2022, consumers sent them 3227 old jeans for recycling! And for every old jean sent back to MUD, they donate to the non-profit Justdiggit to regenerate one tree.

Saving Levels, high

By using recycled materials, renewable energy and impact-saving spinning, dyeing and weaving techniques, MUD Jeans is able to save 41% of CO2. By using recycled cotton, recycled water and water-saving techniques throughout dyeing, spinning and weaving, an average MUD Jeans saves 72% of water.

Specific Product Monitoring, high

99% of their fabrics use OCS certified organic cotton and GRS certified recycled cotton. MUD Jeans uses top sustainable and high-quality products. Their focus is keeping the use of materials monogamous to cotton (or other cellulose-based fibres).

This ensures that their jeans can easily be recycled and reincorporated into production. In 2021, their total production consisted of 70% organic cotton and 28% recycled cotton. Now, 97% of their jeans contain recycled content, 32% of which are made with 40% post-consumer cotton.

Supply Chain Waste, high

One core concept behind MUD Jeans is that different styles are created through different washing techniques. MUD Jeans uses a very limited number of different fabrics, which get used across many different styles.

Using limited amounts of different fabrics helps reduce waste in the production process. The LCA shows the environmental footprint of MUD’s model “Dry Spirit” washing technique is less than 22% of the “Whale Blue” wash!

Sustainability Scorecards, high

MUD Jeans is a brand that truly embodies the principles of sustainability in its business practices. With a focus on reducing environmental impact, ensuring fair labor practices, and promoting animal welfare, MUD Jeans is setting a high standard for the fashion industry.

They were awarded the Koning Willem I Plaquette for sustainable entrepreneurship, awarded by Queen Máxima of the Netherlands.

Water Management, high

The goal of MUD is to collaborate with its partners to find ways to reduce their water impact further. MUD Jeans saved 48.7 million liters of water in 2022 and targets to reduce the average water consumption per jeans by 80% for 2030 compared to 2022.

LCA results show that 82% of the total water consumption comes from their raw materials supply chain.

More specifically: 75% of water consumption comes from the production of organic cotton 22% comes from fabric loss in the production processes


Mud demonstrated that smaller brands are able to micromanage each part of their supply chain and make changes quickly.

Related to other brands

Number of criteria met by each brand:

ESCP Business School Team

Research developed by five curious international ESCP Business School students who have worked together to successfully complete their consulting project. They analysed four brands in four different categories -20 brands: sneakers, pod coffee, jeans, makeup, and chocolate, according to 10 environmental criteria.


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