Your old jeans can now keep new homes warmer in the winter and help the environment. The Blue Jeans Go Green program from Cotton Inc. is partnering with denim retailers including Levi’s, Madewell, and American Eagle to recycle your old denim (in any form, shape, or size) into housing insulation for Habitat for Humanity and civic, community-based projects across the country.
Started in 2006, the program diverts old, donated denim away from the landfill and redirects it to communities in need as recycled housing insulation. Since their start, they have saved over 1,230 tons of clothing waste from the landfill, collected over 2,500,000 pieces of denim, and produced over 4,830,000 square feet of recycled insulation.
The product, called UltraTouch Denim insulation, is a special type of cotton based housing insulation, which utilizes post-consumer recycled denim. The insulation boasts several environmentally-friendly benefits over the standard options: no carcinogenic warnings or chemical irritants, a lower carbon footprint, exceptional thermal performance, and 30% better sound absorption than traditional fiberglass insulation.
Currently, there are only two ways to receive the recycled insulation, through an application as a Habitat for Humanity affiliate, or through a grant program for civic buildings. The insulation is provided on a first-come, first-serve basis to applicants who fit the criteria.
To donate your old, cotton-based denim, head into any of the stores mentioned on their website. Most participating stores even offer discounts off new jeans as an incentive for donation. You can also mail your denim directly to the address listed here.
For more information about donation and the insulation grant program click here.