Whilst wandering down Berwick Street in Soho, London recently, looking for the new Universal Works shop, I happened across the newly opened Nudie Repair Centre. The Swedish Nudie jeans have been around for a few years now and have gained a quite wide following, growing from a brand catering to the cult of raw, selvedge denim to a wider audience in recent years. Yet this is the first official repair centre (apart from similar services offered in their denim dens in Gothenburg and Stockholm, back in Sweden). I was vaguely aware of it having opened, having read about it in a newspaper, but it still came as quite a surprise to find it actually existed. Why so surprised, you may ask, if you’d already read about it?
Well, because it’s such a bloody great and honourable idea, that’s why. At the repair centre, Nudie will repair your worn Nudie jeans, bought anywhere, free of charge. Free of charge! That is an incredible offer, and what a brilliant way to show how firmly you believe in your products. In this day and age where everyone is chasing every last margin of profit they can find, actually providing a service above and beyond what is reasonable to expect is such a strange idea that Nudie deserve all the credit and free advertising they can get.
So, free repairs of worn denims, but what about if you don’t love them any more? Well, they’ll give you 20% off a fresh new pair and repair and resell your unwanted pair as part of their second-hand program. That’s not a bad deal either. Plus if they’re completely shot, I’m guessing at some point they’ll announce that they’ll go into a new denim recycling programme. Not entirely far-fetched, as Nudie have previously deep-recycled a stack of old denim into brand new denim. Quite a process.
While the new shop is named as a Nudie Repair Centre, and they admit they’re probably losing business doing this, it is in fact a full-fledged Nudie shop, with the full range of tops and bottoms in stock. I didn’t get a photo of the jeans bar in the basement, but I think it’s the most impressive shelf of Nudies I’ve ever seen. And having a bartender in place to guide you through the range should be very handy, as the number of cuts and washes Nudie offers these days is quite frankly bewildering.
And in case you are wondering, the staff in the repair shop can actually use the machines placed there. Looking at the number of jeans hanging on the wall awaiting repair I can only imagine that this will become a raging success for Nudie. I only wish I’d thought to bring a pair of my own worn-out ones on holiday and had them given a new lease of life!
Oh, and I didn’t find the Universal Works shop, but found out afterwards it was just behind my back when I photographed the front of the Nudie shop! I must have been very much distracted.