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Want to Do Something Really Cool with Your Old Jeans?

Want to Do Something Really Cool with Your Old Jeans?

How many pairs of old jeans are taking up space in your closet? It’s hard to ditch them after serving you so well for so long, but if those old jeans are just taking up prime closet space, there is a better way of living. Really.

For the inspired, ready to clean out the closet once and for all, you can take your old jeans to a J. Crew or Madewell location and send them off for jean reincarnation as insulation material in a building. Just imagine: a little piece of you keeping someone else warm through the Cotton Incorporated program. Aw.

Cotton Incorporated: Old Jeans Do Good

Our sister-site Green Building Elements broke the news: “Cotton Incorporated’s Blue Jeans Go Green denim recycling drive started in August, and both J.Crew and Madewell retail stores have decided to extend the drive until year-end for J.Crew, and January 31, 2015 at Madewell stores.”

The Cotton Incorporated program started in 2006 with an aim at insulating America’s communities—literally! Organizations like Habitat for Humanity are the recipients of the program, so you know your old jeans are really going to a great cause. To date, more than one million denim pieces (jackets and skirts count too!) have been donated, creating more than 250,000 square feet of denim insulation and keeping more than 600 tons of waste out of landfills.

And you can keep the cycle going. For every pair of old jeans you donate at J. Crew or Madewell, you’re given $20 towards the purchase of a new pair of jeans that you can then donate back to the program in a few years.

In general, denim has come a long way in recent years to where it’s now a fabric to be really excited about, and not just because of the comfort and wearability, but because it’s proving to be a fabric leader in innovation and sustainability. From smaller brands like Beija Flor and Prairie Underground  to Levi’s, which has made huge strides in reducing its environmental impact and creating quality jeans in the process, helping to change the denim industry for the better.

Jeans image via Shutterstock

Written by Jill Ettinger

is co-director of Eat Drink Better. She is the senior editor at and A focus on food, herbs, wellness and world cultural expressions, Jill explores what our shifting food, healing systems and creative landscapes will look, sound and taste like in the future. Stay in touch on Twitter @jillettinger and .

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