This is the story of three pairs of jeans, two broken zippers, countless holes and one responsible denim company: Nudie jeans. Nudie has fixed my jeans over and over again, for free.
This is not a sponsored post whatsoever. I paid princely sums for two pairs and scored a third for cheap at a sample sale. I overpay for this denim because Nudie’s Skinny Lins fit me perfectly and are made with GOTS certified organic cotton. Good On You rates them ‘Good’, so tick. You can even have a browse of where and how their clothes are made.
I’m a repeat Nudie customer because I know I’ll be wearing them for a long time, by virtue of quality and repair. Production is such a significant part of a garment’s overall environmental footprint that regardless of the material used, keeping clothing in circulation is the most powerful way we can reduce our fashion waste. One researcher proposes that we should aim to use each piece of clothing for 100 – 200 wears. This amount of use would help offset the significant pollution created during the production step and would ideally result in a reduction of new clothing production.
Where #30wears asks us to reconsider impulse purchases and consumption as a hobby, 200 wears asks us to revisit our own drawers and closets to experience our weathered, familiar clothing a little differently. Perhaps with more leniency to small deficiencies that can be readily fixed. Clothing ourselves with people and planet in mind is not straightforward. However, wearing things we already own more often and repairing them when they break is within our sphere of control.
When you take your jeans to a Nudie store for repair, they’ll email a reference number and also notify you when the job is ready for pick up. Nudie’s CEO Bryce told me they’d repaired 63,000 jeans in 2016 alone. The repairs to my jeans are all but invisible, by the way. My jeans still look nearly as new as the day I bought them. To do my part to keep these in rotation, I rarely wash them and line dry when I do.
I’d like to see more brands taking responsibility for the quality of their garments beyond the usual two year consumer warranty period here in Australia. Besides Nudie and Patagonia, have you noticed any others offering free lifetime repair?