PhytoGen, Cotton Incorporated Team To Recycle Denim Into Insulation

recycled blue jean insulation
This UltraTouch Denim Insulation was made from 80 percent post-consumer recycled denim.

PhytoGen has joined with Cotton Incorporated’s Blue Jeans Go Green denim recycling program to help bring cotton’s sustainability message full circle.

PhytoGen also is the first cottonseed partner to organize denim collection drives in targeted cotton-producing communities and plans additional efforts at various events throughout 2019.

By recycling worn denim into housing insulation, the blue jean program keeps textile waste out of landfills and helps with building efforts in communities around the country.

“The collaboration with PhytoGen illustrates the full circle of U.S. cotton sustainability,” Stacey Gorman, director of communications for The Cotton Board, said in a news release. “New seed technologies and the commitment of U.S. cotton growers continue to make sustainable production gains, while the Blue Jeans Go Green denim recycling program addresses end-of-product-life sustainability.”

To raise awareness for the program, PhytoGen and Corteva Agriscience first hosted internal denim drives at their corporate offices and seed production locations. The events last November collected more than 2,000 pieces of denim. And their  effort is just getting started.

“We are thrilled to partner with Cotton Incorporated and Blue Jeans Go Green to essentially bring cotton full circle,” says Derek Racca, PhytoGen brand manager. “This program helps the communities in which we and our customers live and work by keeping denim out of landfills as well as playing a role in donating insulation to charities, such as Habitat for Humanity.”

With the support of the National FFA Foundation and local FFA chapters, PhytoGen is coordinating denim-collection drives across the Cotton Belt in early 2019.

In addition to collection at local cotton grower meetings, PhytoGen denim drop-off locations will be at:

• World Ag Expo, Feb. 12-14, Tulare, California
• Mid-South Farm & Gin Show, March 1-2, Memphis, Tennessee
• Texas Cotton Ginners’ Association tradeshow, April 4-5, Lubbock, Texas
• Sunbelt Field Day, July 25, Tifton, Georgia

Since its inception in 2006, the Blue Jeans Go Green program has collected more than 2 million pieces of denim. And more than 3.9 million square feet of insulation has been manufactured from worn denim.

More than 40 Habitat for Humanity affiliates have received denim insulation, and more than 1,000 tons of textile waste have been diverted from landfills.

Corporate partnerships with the blue jean program have mostly been with retailers and brands that offer sales incentives for recycling used denim. They include Wrangler, Gap, American Eagle, J. Crew and Madewell. For more information visit

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