Denim is that cool fabric that usually occupies space in everyone’s wardrobe. It has a long history and never goes out of style. But what do you do when your jeans have finally seen their last days?
The answer is easy if you own a pair of jeans from American Eagle Outfitters. The brand is offering a cash credit worth $10 to recycle your old American Eagle jeans.
How does recycling your American Eagle jeans work?
American Eagle started its recycling program through a partnership with Cotton Incorporated’s “Blue Jeans Go Green” initiative.
The process is simple and straightforward. Simply bring in a pair of American Eagle jeans to any American Eagle Outfitters store and use your $10 credit toward a new pair.
Your old jeans will then make their way to Bonded Logic — another Cotton Incorporated partner. Bonded Logic, which specializes in making insulation from natural fibers, will recycle your jeans into their patented UltraTouch Denim Insulation. The product is safe, natural, and made from 80% post-consumer recycled natural fibers. It is also donated to Habitat for Humanity for building homes.
Why is recycling your old jeans important?
If you have ever felt a bit helpless in regard to what you can do for the health of our planet, an easy but extremely effective way to contribute as an individual is to recycle or reuse.
Since the onslaught of fast fashion, landfills have been overflowing with discarded apparel. According to the Council for Textile Recycling, Americans throw away an average of 70 pounds of clothes annually. Looking at the problem on a larger scale, the EPA estimates that 17 million tons of textiles ended up in our nation’s landfills in 2018.
Once thrown away, that piece of textile may be out of sight, but it will begin to wreak havoc on the environment. As textiles decompose, they release methane gas into the atmosphere while leaching harmful chemicals and leaving behind microfibers on land.
By recycling your jeans or any other piece of clothing, you are doing your part to keep that fabric out of a landfill and prolong its life.
In an article in Science News Explores that investigated the textile industry’s negative impact on the environment, Kirsi Niinimäki — a fashion, textile, and design researcher at Aalto University in Finland — explained, “Everyone nowadays owns too many garments. And we use them a really short time and then dispose of them. We should really try to be a little bit more critical about our consumption practices and try to extend the life … of the product.”
What more can you do?
If your old jeans aren’t American Eagle, you can still recycle with Blue Jeans Go Green. Just check their current list of partners.
And, be sure to consider buying from other apparel companies that recycle and offer cash credits, such as these when you return old underwear or sneakers.
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