Skip to main content

September 30, 2019

Castoff denim clothing gets a second life as insulation thanks to the Business, Marketing and Entrepreneurship Club (Enactus)

Your worn-out Levi’s® can have a new life! Bring them to campus and toss them into a Blue Jeans Go Green collection bin. Each time you do, you could help Habitat for Humanity turn a house into cozy, comfortable home.

"Part of the Business club is learning marketing, promotion and sales but also the social and technical skills you need to prepare yourself for the workplace. Diedrick O., Accounting major

Members of the Business, Marketing and Entrepreneurship Club (Enactus)—or Business Club as it’s commonly called—have collected castoff denim clothes for the past few years. The material is recycled into insulation; members take away experience, connections and a résumé booster.

In 2018 the club collected over 1,000 pounds of denim, about a hundred pounds more than it collected the previous year and enough to create more than 2,300 square feet of insulation.

Pretty cool, huh?

Tangled up in blue

New homeowners aren’t the only ones who benefit. Club President Isaiah Reasby says its members gain just as much.

“Blue Jeans Go Green gives our club members experience with planning, organization and teamwork,” said Isaiah, who is majoring in Entrepreneurship at JCCC and plans to pursue Business Administration at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. “They get the experience of reaching out to others within our community.”

The club hosts drives with partners, such as St. Teresa’s Academy and Lawrence High School, as well as here on campus. You’ll find Blue Jeans Go Green collection boxes in the halls of OCB, GEB and the Library near a display of blue jeans.

Drives held off-campus usually last two weeks, while the drive on campus runs from fall to spring. The collected denim is shipped to Cotton Incorporated recycling centers. Buttons and zippers are removed and the material shredded, eventually to be repurposed into insulation sheets used by Habitat for Humanity and other builders.

Blue jean boosters

Here’s how it plays out:

  1. Club members who want to participate first identify their partner company or organization.
  2. They designate drive dates and complete a required mini marketing plan at least two weeks in advance of their target drive dates.
  3. They choose a promotional poster design from two options and arrange for poster and collection bin delivery to their drive site.
  4. They work with their partners to promote the drive through the company or organization’s website and newsletters, social media and so on.
  5. When the drive ends, organizers schedule a time with their partners to pick up the denim.

“Part of the club is learning marketing, promotion and sales but also the social and technical skills you need to prepare yourself for the workplace,” said Diedrick Otiankouya, Business Club Vice President and Accounting major. She plans to continue her studies at the University of Kansas next year, majoring in Business Administration and Psychology.

The Business Club, she says, helps her feel better prepared to meet her personal goal of starting her own business.

This perfect mix of developing career skills and fostering a commitment to community service works. For the past two years the group has received the Community Service Project of the Year award at JCCC’s Clubbies Awards. In May 2019, Isaiah was also named Student Leader of the Year—not too shabby to add to a résumé. 

Build connections

Looking for a club that will help you hone essential professional skills and make a positive difference for a great cause? Join the Business Club! The group meets at 2 p.m. every Thursday in LIB 353B. Learn more about the club on Facebook and Instagram.

JCCC offers more than 80 student clubs and organizations. Check out how you can get involved to socialize, network and build your résumé.