Established in Gothenburg in 2001, Nudie Jeans has developed into a Swedish household name with international appeal. Celebrated for its wide array of fits and sustainable approach, it continues to grow.
Fusion Associates turned to CEO Palle Stenberg to touch upon a few of the brand’s recent developments.
Nudie Jeans has come a long way. What has been the most surprising or interesting part of the brand journey?
We’re still amazed that we’ve come this far and that we’re still going strong. When we started out, we modestly hoped that someone would like the products and the brand value as much as we did. Not in our wildest dreams did we imagine that we’d make the progress seen over the past 14 years.
Sustainability is high on your agenda. How have you made the production process greener?
From the very start, we’ve been pretty adamant that the environmental aspect is important. In 2007, we started striving towards offering a denim range made from 100% organic cotton, and in 2012 we reached our goal. We continue to strive towards presenting a collection where all cotton used is not only organic, but also Fairtrade certified. We’ve come a long way, but we’re not quite there yet.
You launched the first Repair Shop concept in 2013 in London. How is it coming along? Are consumers getting used to the idea of mending their lovingly worn jeans rather than buying a pair of new ones?
They most definitely are and we’re very proud to be able to offer all our customers free repairs. Last year we repaired over 25,000 pairs of Nudie Jeans and this is just the beginning. So far, we’ve opened 19 Repair Shops internationally– they’re located in places such as our hometown Gothenburg, Stockholm, London, Berlin, Los Angeles, Oslo, Sydney and Osaka. More stores will open in the future in order to give anyone’s beloved Nudie Jeans a second life and at the same time support the environment.
You’ve added a few women’s styles to the range. How will the line develop over the next few seasons?
We don’t see the category as women’s jeans; rather, we consider it unisex – i.e. a range of fits that are perfect for both men and women.
Nudie is quite an accessible label, yet it has a cool and almost cult air about it. How have you managed to strike such a delicate balance?
We are stubborn and we’ve stuck to our principles and haven’t compromised. Everything is kept within the family and we do everything in-house.
Is there a typical Nudie customer? Who is he, or indeed she?
Nudie is for anyone who has ever owned a pair of jeans and a t-shirt.
You sell at around 2,000 doors worldwide. Which territories are on your radar for future expansion?
Any place inhabited by people with a passion for jeans is relevant to us. We try to be a niche brand in a global market.
Anything new in the pipeline?
Yes, of course! (Mischievous smile).