Nudie Jeans Company Review

January 12, 2017

Welcome to the Nudie Jeans company review. In this series of articles, we put the spotlight on businesses that we think are doing ambitious and honorable things for the environment. These features will cover things like corporate social responsibility, sustainability, green credentials, carbon reduction measures, recycling, reuse and reduction efforts, supply chain responsibility, and more.

We’ve chosen to look at Nudie Jeans in this company review, due to the way that the Swedish denim manufacturer operates. Founded in 2001, they’ve made huge strides over the last 17 years to drive the mission of fairtrade and organic cotton into the clothing industry. They’re also a huge supporter of human rights, as we will come to show later, and have helped to raise millions for important charities in this area. 

Let’s begin.






Score: 17%

Here are a few words from their CEO from their 2017 sustainability report: “To work with sustainability in the core processes of our daily operations is a priority for Nudie Jeans, and a key factor in the decision-making process, both strategically and operationally. The daily work consists of continuous improvements, via audits, follow ups, chemical handling and innovations, such as the living wage programme.” Joakim Levin – CEO There are four main ways that Nudie Jeans go above and beyond for sustainability: Exceeding environmental guidelines and regulations (thus putting pressure on direct competitors to do the same) Mandatory environmental training for all employees (pushing forward the standard on retail sustainability) Using only Fairtrade and ecologically sound materials in their clothing products Choosing suppliers who have an environmentally-friendly supply chain (encouraging other supplies to make more earth-conscious decisions) Looking forward, their sustainability goals are sound too: By 2020, they will increase the number of collected used Nudie Jeans by 15% globally By 2020, they will increase the total number of Nudie second-hand jeans sold by 30% globally By 2020, at least one style in their collection will be made of recycled post-consumer Nudie Jeans collected from their garment collection scheme

Green Credentials

Score: 16%

Here are some of the schemes that Nudie Jeans are actively involved in: All suppliers must sign the Restricted Substance List (RSL) to promise not to use chemicals in production Suppliers must also be involved in the Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) Workers’ Education Programme (WEP) GOTS Certified (Global Organic Textile Standard) Member of UPS’ Carbon Neutral programme, for balancing export carbon emissions Supporting the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation in tackling climate change Part of the Alliance for Responsible Denim Fur Free Alliance member Amnesty International major supporter Fair Wear Foundation member Winner of the prestigious ‘Sustainable Style Award’ 

Corporate Social Responsibility Test

Score: 18%

Nudie Jeans are an active member of Swedish organisation CSR Västsverige, which is a platform for the private, public and NGO sectors to learn and share experiences, as well as participate in CSR-related meetings. Their CSR Manager, Eliina Brinkberg explained in this very candid interview about her role at the company. The most interesting part is where she talks about the challenges they face in embedding CSR ideals into their suppliers premises and operations. “We strive for creating long-term relationships with our suppliers and we prefer to work and to develop together instead of always changing suppliers. This means that there is always something to work on, things to improve, to develop, and it includes everything from discussions regarding workers’ salary to making sure that all the fire extinguishers are fixed on the walls. With different suppliers we face different challenges, but it also depends on the area and country the supplier is located in. In India for example the biggest challenge we face are the low wages, but in Turkey on the other hand it is the political situation and the difficulty for workers to form unions.” “Concerning product development, it is challenging to work with washes and worn in looks and to make these in an environmentally friendly way. As I talk about more below, we are working with strict chemical restrictions and our suppliers are engaged in water reduction and lowering their energy consumption. Another challenge is to spread the word of what we are doing, to get more customers to repair their jeans, and for us to be able to keep up with the repairs when the demand is growing.”

Carbon Footprint

Score: 18%

Tackling the carbon footprint of the supply chain and also exporting their goods is something that Nudie Jeans appear very committed to. As part of their role in UPS’ ‘Carbon Neutral Programme’, they take part in carbon offsetting schemes to balance their export emissions. They invest more than €7,000 per year into carbon offsetting projects. To go one step further, they have reduced the number of business trips, and begun tracking the data for all the trips they do take. In 2017, that equated to 1,354kg of Co2 per employee. Donations were made to the Swedish Society for Nature Conversation to help offset this. They have also supported the planting of trees to offset their paper bag use, in partnership with Avisera.  Here is their statement on 2017’s carbon emission reduction activities: “At Nudie Jeans we are always working to minimize our emissions. We try to pack our goods in the most effective way and we are working on our production planning allowing the suppliers to deliver according to the timeframe decided so we can ship as much as possible by sea freight and avoid airfreight where possible. During 2017, we lowered our total Co2 kg emissions by 10%. That was partly due to estimated numbers in the 2016 report. The incoming deliveries lowered their emissions by 22%, while the outgoing deliveries lowered their emissions by 8%.”

Recycling, Reuse, Reduction

Score: 19%

Denim recycling is not an enormous industry, but that hasn’t stopped Nudie Jeans from trying to encourage it. In some of their concept stores, they accept old and worn out Nudie Jeans from past customers, and give them a discount towards their new jeans. Then, they remake and repair the jeans, before selling them again. This initiative won them a ‘Good Environmental Choice’ award from the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation. Here are some cool facts: Using recycled cotton in their knitted products Reused 1,200 old pairs of jeans in 2017 to make patches for repairs, as well as hats and backpacks Using Tencel in one line of clothing, a recycled wood fibre Using recycled wool for knits and accessories Their repair shops are made from reclaimed and renewable sources Sold 1,200 pairs of reused jeans Repaired almost 7,500 pairs of jeans in 2017 Products sold in 100% recycled and recyclable bags

Total Eco Score

Score: 88%