Monday, November 28, 2022

Cotton’s Blue Jeans Go Green Program Continues To Thrive

stacey gorman
BY STACEY GORMAN
WARREN, ARKANSAS

Cotton Incorporated’s Blue Jeans Go Green denim recycling program has been around since 2006, offering consumers a way to give their old denim new life by transforming it into something new. Since the program’s inception, more than four million pieces of denim have been recycled, diverting more than 2,100 tons of denim from landfills.

Thriving In Sustainability

Originally, all denim collected was converted into UltraTouch Denim Insulation, for use in homes and building projects. However, as the program has continued to evolve, so has what’s been able to be recycled along with expanded end uses for recycled denim.

The Blue Jeans Go Green program is now able to accept insulation liners often used in meal kits to keep food fresh and temperature controlled in transport. To prevent single use, the denim insulation liners can be sent back and recycled again (and again).

The program has worked with leading natural cotton fiber insulation manufacturer Bonded Logic Inc. for more than 15 years. Now, along with old denim, insulation liners from meal kits can be recycled to make new insulating material for various applications. These range from housing insulation to thermal packaging liners for meal kits and pet bed and industrial mattress inserts.

Since the program’s inception, more than four million pieces of denim have been
recycled, diverting more than 2,100 tons of denim from landfills.

Cotton Incorporated’s Director of Consumer Marketing, Brand Partnerships Andrea Samber manages the program.

“The Blue Jeans Go Green program continues to thrive because the program is grounded in sustainability, and it helps to close the loop on cotton’s circularity,” she said. “It offers our endemic brands and retailers — along with non-endemic businesses and organizations — a turnkey way to participate and meet their social responsibility goals, while educating and engaging consumers in the process.”

Collaborating To Improve

The Blue Jeans Go Green program continues to evolve and gain momentum, engaging new collaborators and offering new initiatives on a regular basis.

Little Spoon Believes Big in Sustainability — In an ongoing effort to launch sustainable solutions throughout 2022, leading baby and kid’s food and nutrition company, Little Spoon, committed to all boxes using insulation liners made from recycled denim manufactured by Bonded Logic Inc., helping to reduce millions of pounds of textiles thrown out every year while ensuring Little Spoon meals and snacks stay cold and fresh.

Customers can return their liners for free for continued recycling — alongside any old denim — to be reused in the Blue Jeans Go Green program.

Texas FFA Recycling Program — Selecting Cotton’s Blue Jeans Go Green denim recycling program as their community service project for 2021, the Texas FFA core team promoted to fellow students and community the importance of cotton sustainability and awareness about textile recycling during the spring. In July 2021, the Texas FFA held their annual convention in Fort Worth, Texas. More than 5,000 pieces of denim were brought to the convention by the 11,000 attendees.

Inspiring Big Imaginations — Last fall, the program invited readers of The Week Junior to design a T-shirt inspired by Cotton’s Blue Jeans Go Green denim recycling program. More than 700 readers aged 8-14 from across the country shared their creative ideas on what doing good in denim means to them and how old denim can be transformed into useful products like insulating material.

Judges from The Week Junior and Cotton Incorporated were blown away by the submissions. The judges selected three winners and used their designs to create limited-edition T-shirts.

Every Piece Pledge — To celebrate Earth Day this year, the Blue Jeans Go Green program launched Every Piece Pledge, encouraging consumers to make a lasting commitment to recycling and wearing sustainable clothes, like cotton. Taking the pledge is one small step that can serve as a helpful reminder that denim, made from cotton, can be recycled and transformed to do good for the earth.

If you would like to get involved and recycle your old denim or meal kit liners through the Blue Jeans Go Green program, there are couple of ways you can participate. First, you can drop your denim off at a local retailer or event. Or, you can print a free shipping label and mail in your old denim or meal kit liners thanks to a collaboration with Zappos for Good program. For information on local drop offs or to get a free shipping label and mailing instructions, visit bluejeansgogreen.org. 


Stacey Gorman is The Cotton Board’s director of communications and may be reached at sgorman@cottonboard.org.

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