Cotton Incorporated’s Blue Jeans Go Green program met its goal of collecting 10,000 denim apparel items, enough to provide insulation for 10 homes that were built in the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity Build-a-Thon in May.
Pitching in for the build was AnnaSophia Robb, star of the CW series “The Carrie Diaries,” who presented homeowner Karen Walter with the key to her new home on America Street. Robb joined more than 600 AmeriCorps and other volunteers for the build, which took place between May 20 and 30.
Consumers around the country did their part as well, dropping off 10,000 denim items in Blue Jeans Go Green collection bins at Madewell stores and by mailing their unwanted denim directly to the program. The program converts these unwanted denim items into UltraTouch Denim Insulation through manufacturing partner Bonded Logic Inc. and provides it to communities in need.
Cotton Inc. noted that during the past 40 years, American cotton growers have reduced pesticide applications by 50 percent, reduced irrigation water applications by 40 percent, and have grown twice as much cotton on 30 percent less acreage. The initiative brings the environmental gains cotton growers have made in the field and takes them full circle by diverting textiles from landfills and helping to rebuild communities.
Since 2006, the program has provided hundreds of thousands of square feet of UltraTouch Denim Insulation to Habitat for Humanity affiliates around the country. Over that time, the initiative has diverted more than 1 million pieces of denim, roughly 600 tons, from landfills and created about 2 million square feet of insulation.
“The average consumer owns seven pairs of jeans,” said Andrea Samber, codirector of Strategic Alliances at Cotton Inc. “Giving just one of them to the recycling drive can make a big difference in a family’s life.”
In addition to Habitat for Humanity, the Blue Jeans Go Green UltraTouch Denim Insulation Grant Program provides insulation to projects intended to improve U.S. communities through the creation and development of community-based buildings.
UltraTouch Denim Insulation is composed of 80 percent recycled cotton fibers and is an environmentally safe, nonitch insulation without carcinogenic warnings, formaldehyde or chemical irritants. It provides strong thermal performance and 30 percent better sound absorption than traditional fiberglass insulation. It’s also one of the only insulating products that contains an active mold and mildew inhibitor.