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Recycle your denim

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Did you ever guess that your favorite pair of blue jeans worn again and again could turn into something life-changing once you are ready to give them up?

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It all began in 2006 as Blue Jeans Go Green was born with little more than a vision in mind. It was created by Cotton Incorporated and the mission was to put emphasis on the natural and environmental attributes of cotton and to give people a unique way to give back to their community. That year, 14 colleges and universities collected denim specifically for recycling. Throughout the nation, 14,566 pieces of denim were collected.

Every year, that number began to grow and grow. In 2007, 70,000 sq. ft. of UltraTouch™ Denim Insulation was manufactured from the recycled denim, and it was given to Habitat for Humanity of Greater Baton Rouge to help rebuild in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

In 2008, Blue Jeans Go Green reached out even further. Cotton partnered with G by GUESS and Warner Bros. Pictures Group for the “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2” to collect denim. Cotton staff attended the Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project with New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity. There were 38,275 pieces of denim collected nationwide. Taking dedication to the next level, 75,000 sq. ft. of UltraTouch™ Denim Insulation was manufactured from the recycled denim, and it was given to various Habitat for Humanity affiliates in the Gulf Coast Region.

Each year significant achievements bring reward and satisfaction that began with a pair of jeans. In 2009, in partnership with National Geographic Kids magazine, the Guinness World Record™ for "Most Items of Clothing Collected for Recycling” was set at 33,088 pieces of denim.

Highlights of 2010 included participation from GAP, Rock & Republic and True Religion. Cotton launched a Grant Program, giving architects, builders and project developers the ability to apply for grants of UltraTouch™ Denim Insulation.

From 2011 through 2013, more large retail giants joined the initiative along with celebrities such as Emmy Rossum and Hayden Panettiere and carried their words into action. To help reach and surpass receiving 1 million pieces of denim collected, Blue Jeans Go Green™ hosted The Great Denim Challenge – Celebrity Autographed Jeans Auction which resulted in 5,393 denim items bid.

As we enter 2014 and head into February, a year of promise ensues as over 600 tons of denim has been diverted from landfills.

This is a program that has reshaped the face of denim. The gratitude is contagious. At this point in time, since the inception of Blue Jeans Go Green, the program can boast the collection of over 1,035,457 pieces of denim.

To find out more and see how you can get involved, because after all, you have to give up your favorite pair of jeans at some point, go to http://www.bluejeansgogreen.org/FAQ/.

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