Cotton incorporated celebrates the benefits of authentic cotton denim for 151st birthday of blue jeans

The blue jeans go green initiative is just one way Cotton Incorporated closes the loop on cotton sustainability.

Cotton Incorporated
Photo - Cotton Incorporated

Cotton Incorporated encourages consumers to commemorate the 151st anniversary of the birth of blue jeans, an iconic symbol of American fashion and innovation. One way to participate is by recycling cotton denim and learning more about the circularity of cotton and it uses beyond fashion. So, on this special occasion, we encourage readers to participate in our nationally recognized Blue Jeans Go Green  program.

On this day in 1873, the landscape of apparel was forever changed when the first blue jeans were patented. “The invention of blue jeans marked a pivotal moment in the history of fashion,” said Andrea Samber, Director of Brand Partnerships, at Cotton Incorporated. “From their humble beginnings as functional work attire to becoming a global fashion staple, blue jeans have captured the imagination of people across generations and cultures.”

In addition to celebrating the rich history of blue jeans, Cotton Incorporated highlights the Blue Jeans Go Green program, which collects denim to be recycled in creative ways – from building efforts, pet bed inserts, thermal food packaging, and more. Since its inception, the Blue Jeans Go Green program has diverted millions of pounds of denim from landfills and provided insulation for over 2,000 homes across the United States. Over 5,200,000 pieces of denim and 2,630 tons have been recycled through the program.

Through the Blue Jeans Go Green initiative, we can extend the lifespan of denim while providing sustainable solutions for communities in need, said Samber. “It’s a testament to the enduring impact of blue jeans beyond the realm of fashion.” 

Since 2006, over 100 brands and retailers have collaborated with the program. 

The Blue Jeans Go Green program is just one of the ways consumers can close the loop on cotton sustainability. Denim recycling is possible because it’s made from cotton, which is a sustainable, natural fiber. Through resale, renewal and upcycling, consumers can help keep the lifecycle of cotton going.  

Well-made cotton apparel is durable, making it a perfect match for the blossoming secondhand market where it can be reused repeatedly. Textiles made of 100% cotton can be recycled and may be used to create new products. After it can no longer be reused or recycled, cotton products can be discarded. Cotton can degrade in industrial compost, wastewater, salt water, and freshwater environments, and it also degrades faster than manufactured cellulosic fibers like rayon and oil-based synthetics, according to Cotton Incorporated’s Cotton Circular Lifecycle. 

As we celebrate the 151st birthday of blue jeans, Cotton Incorporated invites individuals to join us in supporting the Blue Jeans Go Green initiative. Recycling old denim can contribute to environmental sustainability and the community. 


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