How to Recycle Denim

CC Flickr photo of denim courtesy of vvvracer.

Can you recycle denim?

Pretty much every one of us owns at least one pair of jeans. And if you are anything like the average American, it’s probably far more than one pair! The thing is, many of us have jeans that are perfectly serviceable, they just don’t fit any more. And it’s not only jeans; there’s plenty of other clothing made from denim, including jackets, skirts and waistcoats.

But even if you don’t want your denim anymore, there’s plenty of environmentally friendly ways to dispose of it, and it can nearly always be recycled.

Can denim be recycled?

Oh yes, most definitely. And the market for good quality, vintage denim jeans is massive. And if it’s got a designer label there’s no reason at all why you can’t make a few dollars along the way.

But even if your jeans aren’t made by Versace or they’ve seen better days, there are still many options for recycling denim. It’s such a sturdy material that it’s tough enough for many uses, not just wearing. So the next time you’re thinking of chucking some denim in the trash, why not consider some of these options.

What are the possibilities for recycled denim material?

If the jeans (or jacket, skirt or whatever) is still in a serviceable condition, consider either donating it or, if it’s got a desirable name tag, you can consider selling it. Remember, you may not want jeans with rips or tears across the knees but there’s a whole bunch of people who see this as the height of fashion!

If you want to sell, then try eBay or a car boot sale. If you want to donate then there are plenty of charity shops who will be more than happy to take serviceable clothes off your hands. Plus you get the added bonus of knowing that you are supporting a good cause.

If the jeans have seen better days then you can always turn them into a sexy pair of denim shorts. And you don’t have to worry about the edges fraying, as this is part of the appeal.

However, if the denim really has seen better days then you may be better off turning it into some other useful item. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to produce a clothes peg bag or even cutting it into squares and sewing them together to make a cover or blanket which could be used for animal bedding.

It’s also handy to keep old denim to use as patches for other jeans or denim clothes.

But what about the resources used in the recycling process of denim?

Apart from a bit of cotton and some time, none of the above ways of recycling use up any resources. That’s one of the great things about reusing and recycling, and the more we all become aware of it the better for the environment.

Other Reputable Resources About Denim Recycling

REUSE is a company that sells recycled denim products.

Jeanology is an awesome recycled denim store on Etsy that you should check out.

Ecouterre has a great article about 7 ways to recycle denim.

Cotton from Blue to Green was a 2010 denim recycling project that had a lot of success.

You can buy recycled denim insulation for your home!