Wednesday, August 15, 2012

When Denim Hits the Fan

Tonight I made Ben pull out all the jeans and pants stuffed in his dresser drawers and try everything on. Oh, he's not a fan of this process, but the other option is dragging him to the store and that's pretty much pure torture in his book, so he protested only a little.
One by one we went through his jeans. First to go were the obvious ones, the blown out knees. That's where Ben protested saying I basically got rid of his favorites. Such a male! 
Then I made a pile of good but too small (yay, a few can be saved for Luke!) and a teeny, tiny stack of still fits. 
Now I'm left with a substantial amount of worn out in the knees jeans from both boys. An obvious choice might be to cut them off for shorts but neither boy is really a denim short kind of boy. A quick survey on Facebook and a Google/Pinterest search for repurposing denim gave me a bunch of options, too. But guess what? I'm not much of a sewing crafter. I'd like to be but for multiple reasons, it's just not happening. 

Some more searching and I follow a lead for textile recycling and come across a company that recycles denim and turns it into blown insulation!! Nice. Now is it possible for me to get my jeans into someone's attic? 
Yes, yes it is!!

Green Jeans Insulation It doesn't look like you can donate directly to them but you can at least see the product.

Cotton From Blue to Green They have several ways to collect your denim. Sure, the mail in program is going to cost me my nickel, but I'd rather that than the landfill. I know I've seen the high school collect jeans and a mall store has a program every once in a while, too. All very doable. And at the rate the boys go through jeans, I'll have plenty for all options.

I haven't found any yet (but truthfully, I haven't looked either) for groups/organizations/companies that would take my denim to re-purpose it and help others out. 

I'm looking for something like this group-
Open Arms They employ refugee women AND recycle t-shirts into skirts and such. (They are in Austin, TX but you can order from them anywhere.)

Is it possible that there is such a place in Des Moines or Iowa? 

If you know of such a place for denim or other textiles anywhere, let us all know. If I find of any places, I'll be sure to let you know, too. 

Finally, if you want a pile of size 4/5 or 7 boy jeans to craft your little heart out or turn into denim shorts, let me know!



    Can you do this with any of them??

    1. Not sure exactly what you are asking, however, the cotton from blue to green site says you can donate any jeans. Hope that helps.

  2. Hey Mindy -
    Hope you're doing well. Saw your blog entry and have an idea for your old jeans, etc. We take all of our worn out clothes to the Hope Bargain Center in Pleasant Hill. Here's their website: The info you'd want to know about is listed in the paragraph called "Recycling center." We take everything there that is past it's ability to be worn by anyone. And it's going to help a great, local organization - hope that helps out! :-)
    Take care!
    Miranda :-)

    1. Thanks a ton, Miranda! I've heard of them before and just peeked now at their website. I will look into it more very soon!!


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