Green jeans: Sweden's Nudie goes organic

Nudie jeans
It might have taken 11 years but Nudie – purveyors of green jeans for the super stylish – has finally taken the plunge and gone entirely organic. Are you paying attention, H&M?

Ultra hip Swedish denim label, Nudie, is to launch its first collection made entirely from organic cotton this autumn. Founded in 2001, Nudie has maintained a commitment to the environment by making the most of eco-friendly textiles and insisting on sustainable, ethical practices from its manufacturers. ‘We had to start from scratch, change the way we work and together with our suppliers develop our very own organic fabrics. It’s been a struggle, to say the least but it also gave us the opportunity to develop these fabrics in our own direction,’ explains Maria Erixon Levin, founder and creative director.

Nudie’s efforts stand out all the more in an industry where huge demand exacerbates existing environmental issues, including pesticide use, unethical labour and factory pollution. Each of us owns, on average, seven pairs of jeans and three new pairs are sold every single second. The vast majority are manufactured from conventional cotton – a crop notorious for taking up just three per cent of global farmland but using 25 per cent of its insecticides. Along with overuse of chemicals such as organophosphates, the manufacturing process usually includes toxic dyes and formaldehydes. According to the Soil Association, non-organic cotton is a huge contributor to global environmental pollution, thanks to the vast amount of chemicals needed to grow it.

While Nudie isn’t the only label offering a greener alternative to conventional denim, its focus on sustainability should give the likes of H&M food for thought. Along with organic cotton, other initiatives include creating a range of recycled jeans and putting an emphasis on ethically manufactured denim via membership of the Fair Wear Foundation. It might have been difficult and it may have taken eleven years but Nudie is offering planet-minded style setters a fresh take on denim and a genuinely green alternative to the big brands.

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