Turning old, unwanted denim into insulation
WHY IT MATTERS
Reduces waste in landfills
Helps those in need
Encourages eco-friendly construction
Encourages DIY projects
U.S company Cotton Inc. launched the recycling program Blue Jeans Go Green in 2006. Their initiative takes old denim jeans, skirts, shirts, jackets – so pretty much anything denim – and upcycles them into UltraTouch Denim Insulation. The program partnered with several retailers to set up collection sites countrywide, launched a mail-in program, and encourages communities to host their own denim drives. This approach is proving to be successful because in just 11 years they've recycled over 600 tons of waste that would've otherwise ended up in landfills. That is a significant impact, but it doesn’t stop there!
Blue Jeans Go Green is also helping those in need and encouraging green development projects. They supply their UltraTouch Denim insulation to Habitat for Humanity projects and they’ve even created a Denim Grant program for licensed architects, contractors and builders developing green projects.
But it’s 14-year-old Erik Hansen’s story that really caught our eye. Erik, also known as EcoErik, has always had a passion for helping the planet, so it’s no surprise that when he started his own denim drives, they were a huge success! Since 2009 EcoErik has collected over 33 thousand denim items and in 2011 he setup a drive for shoes, collecting over 29 thousand pairs for recycling. He’s a local legend in his hometown of Toledo, Ohio through his organization Go Green Ohio.