Nudie Jeans' repair shops should be the new standard for sustainable fashion

repairing jeans
© Nudie Jeans

We’ve all ripped a pair of jeans, but we’re not all tailors. Nudie Jeans has a great solution.

Nudie Jeans is working hard to reduce the environmental impact of denim: they use organic cotton and vegetable tanned leather, pay fair wages and have a detailed description of where their materials are sourced in their production guide.

But one of Nudie’s biggest innovations doesn’t have anything to do with how the jeans are made. It’s all about what happens when you wear your jeans out.

Nudie gives its store-front locations a second purpose by offering repair services for its products. These in-house repair shops extend the life of the jeans, and help communicate the sustainable ethos behind this clothing maker.

“This company is built on an idea of taking care of your clothes,” said Joakim Levin, one of Nudie’s founders. “One of the beliefs that we’re trying to sell is that people need to consume less, actually.”

The shops service between 300 and 500 pairs of jeans per month, and repair only Nudie products. For consumers who don’t live near a brick-and-mortar store, Nudie also offers repair kits for those who want to do it themselves.

Nudie has plans to open more shops in Europe and the U.S., including a New York location. Levin said that one of the biggest challenges to opening repair shops is finding the right staff. Not only do potential employees need to have an interest in learning to sew, but they also need to share a belief in Nudie’s overall sustainability and ethical philosophy. “If you want to be a part of that, it’s a really fun place to work,” said Levin. “But if you just want to have a job in a regular shop, I doubt you will.”

Levin points out that repair shops are common for other types of products, like cars, appliances and computers, but this hasn't been the case for clothing. “We need to take care of our stuff better instead of just buying and throwing it away.”

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