Data from The Council for Textile Recycling and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency points out that U.S. consumers are increasingly sending millions of pounds of textiles to landfills each year. For instance in 2012 alone, the EPA reported that the U.S. generated 14.3 million pounds of textile waste, making up 5.7 percent of total municipal solid waste.
Denim recycling is one way the cotton industry is working to reduce textile waste and help save the planet. In fact, Cotton Incorporated’s Blue Jeans Go Green ™ is a denim recycling program that has diverted more than 600 million pounds of denim from landfills. To date, the program has collected more than 1.1 million pieces of denim and recycled them into UltraTouch™ Denim Insulation. A portion of the insulation made with denim collected through the Blue Jeans Go Green™ program is then donated to Habitat for Humanity affiliates and other civic and community organizations to help communities in need.
Recently, Grammy Award-winning, singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow partnered with Blue Jeans Go Green™ to help the program collect another 10,000 pieces of denim to support the New Orleans Area Habitat For Humanity chapter’s Build-a-Thon. Scheduled to take place in May 2015, the Build-a-Thon will construct 10 new homes in New Orleans to mark the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
More than 1,000 homes have been insulated with UltraTouch™ Denim Insulation collected through the Blue Jeans Go Green™ program but the environmental benefits extend beyond the landfill.
The insulation is great for maintaining an energy-efficient facility as it qualifies for up to 12 LEED certification credits, has an EPA registered borate solution that resists mold, fungi, bacteria, pests and fire and is rated as Class A building material. The Ultratouch™ Denim Insulation is also formaldehyde free, lacks airborne particulate pollutants, and doesn’t itch to touch.