Give old denim a new purpose

April 12, 2017

JCCC club collects denim for insulation as part of Earth Week

Bring your old blue jeans, overalls and denim jackets to Johnson County Community College from Monday, April 17, to Friday, April 21, to give them new life as building insulation. 

The JCCC Business and Marketing club (Enactus) will conduct the denim drive as part of Cotton Incorporated’s Blue Jeans Go Green program. The program works with organizations throughout the U.S. to collect denim items. Once collected, the denim is returned to its natural cotton fiber state and recycled into UltraTouch Denim Insulation. 

Club vice president Mina Mussayeva said, “JCCC students were exploring how they could create a worthy project that would help others think about sustainability when someone brought up idea of the Blue Jeans Go Green Project.”  

The club secured funding support from the Student Sustainability Community and then established a partnership with Catholic Charities. Its Turnstyles thrift store at 9720 W 87th St., Overland Park, is also a part of the drive. Donations will be accepted there from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 22. 

On campus, students will accept donations in the Commons, Level 1.5, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday, while the Honors Office (COM 201) will accept donations all week.  

Donors will be given one ticket for each item. At 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 26, in the CoLab (OCB 100)members from the club will draw winning tickets for prizes. Giveaways include more than $600 in gift cards and prizes and a $100 Visa gift card for the person who donates the most items (10-item minimum).  

Since its inception in 2006, the Blue Jeans Go Green program has: 

  • collected denim at 56 colleges across the country 

  • recycled more than 1 million pieces of denim 

  • diverted more than 700 tons of waste from landfills 

  • created denim insulation for consumers and non-profits such as Habitat for Humanity 

The Center for Sustainability is organizing events for Earth Week, too. The Epicenter workshop on Monday, April 17, focuses on water as a shared future resource. EarthFest on Wednesday, April 19, features a clothing swap, craft projects and people-powered snacks. Check out the full schedule online 

For questions about the denim drive, contact Barbara Millard, club advisor , at 913-469-8500, ext. 4792. For questions about other events during Earth Week, contact Kristy Howell, sustainability education and engagement coordinator, at 913-469-8500, ext. 2883.