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Levi Strauss, Gap Encourage Denim Recycling For Insulation Applications

Apparel companies Levi Strauss & Co. and Gap Inc., both based in San Francisco, have announced programs to recycle used denim into insulation products.

Levi Strauss has established a $100,000 denim insulation fund to encourage the reuse of unwanted denim to keep it out of landfills. The fund will provide grants to community groups currently involved in construction projects to offset the cost difference between using conventional insulation and insulation made from recycled denim.

"Denim is a staple in nearly everyone's wardrobe, but it shouldn't be a staple in our landfills," said Jill Nash, vice president of corporate affairs, Levi Strauss. "By encouraging our consumers to donate unwanted jeans and then promoting recycled denim as insulation in buildings, we can green our communities from the inside out and extend the lifecycle of every pair of jeans."

Earlier this year, Levi Strauss assisted The Trust For Public Land with a grant for denim insulation.

"We're excited to use recycled denim to insulate our new clubhouse and provide local children with a non-toxic environment to run, jump and play," said Will Rogers, president, The Trust For Public Land. "Levi Strauss & Co.'s new denim insulation fund shows the kind of thoughtful, creative way that this city's leading companies are working with groups like The Trust For Public Land to create placed and communities that are healthy and more livable."

In addition, Levi Strauss used denim insulation when it recently renovated its headquarters. It also donated more than 200,000 pairs of recycled jeans to the California Academy of Sciences for use in insulation for its newly reopened facility.

In related news, as part of a partnership with Cary, N.C.-based Cotton Incorporated, Gap is offering consumers a 30-percent discount on a new pair of 1969 jeans if they bring their old jeans to a Gap store through October 20. The old denim collected by Gap will be repurposed into UltraTouch™ Denim Insulation made by Chandler, Ariz.-based Bonded Logic Inc., then donated to communities in need, such as those in New Orleans still rebuilding post-Hurricane Katrina.

"We love this partnership with Cotton Incorporated's 'Cotton. From Blue to Green®.' denim drive because it merges the ideas of fashion, environmental sustainability and helping others," said Marka Hansen, president, Gap North America. "Earlier this year, we partnered with Cotton Incorporated on their first ever national denim drive with a retailer, and it was met with such success that we wanted to give our customers another opportunity to recycle their old denim, help communities in need, and update their fall wardrobe with the latest in 1969 jeans."

"Cotton Incorporated is pleased to continue the 'Cotton. From Blue to Green.' nationwide denim drive with Gap," said J. Berrye Worsham, president and CEO, Cotton Incorporated. "The last denim drive was hugely successful and it's due entirely to customers' generosity in donations."

October 12, 2010