A Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of Nudie Jeans’ Repair and Reuse Concept
Examensarbete för masterexamen
Industrial ecology (MPTSE), MSc
As one of the largest and most polluting industries, the fashion industry plays a significant role regarding the ongoing degradation of the environment. Nudie Jeans is a Swedish denim company that has taken an active approach by contesting the current paradigm of producing fast fashion, which contributes to the throwaway society, which in turn contributes to polluting the environment. Instead, they focus on giving their jeans a narrative, where ageing and letting the jeans break in is encouraged by the means of their Repair and Reuse concept. This Master’s thesis has investigated to what extent this concept helps mitigate environmental impacts with respect to a studied pair of Nudie Jeans entire life cycle using the Life Cycle Assessment method with the help of the LCA software GaBi. A linear case, where the studied jeans were assumed to be discarded after their functional life time had expired, was compared to a circular case, which assumed an extension of the functional life time through repairing and reusing the jeans three times. These two cases where compared with regard to the environmental impact they cause per year that they are worn. According to the results, the environmental impact decrease by extending the life time of the jeans. Thus, for each added event of reuse, the environmental load associated with the life cycle of the studied pair of Nudie Jeans decrease. However, the decrease occurs at an increasingly lower rate late with increasing number of reuses. Active measures that can be taken in order to further reduce the Repair and Reuse system includes decreasing the environmental impact related to maintenance of the jeans and repairing the jeans. For example, decreasing the frequency of washing and tumble drying will decrease the environmental impact. Moreover, the paper bag that customers get when they repair their jeans at a Repair Shop, were identified to be a considerable source of environmental impact with regard to the Repair stage of the Repair and Reuse concept. Valuable insights were identified, which indicate that Nudie Jeans is contributing to mitigating environmental impact within the fashion industry by promoting their Reuse and Repair concept. The results of this study imply that considerable environmental impact could be mitigated if more actors in the fashion industry implement an approach similar to Nudie Jeans’ Repair and Reuse concept.
Nudie Jeans , Repair and Reuse , Life Cycle Assessment , Circular Economy , IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute