Turning your worn out denim into insulation


Do you have jeans that have been TRULY worn out — the patches have been repatched? There is an opportunity for you to upcycle those old jeans! PhytoGen, the U.S. cottonseed brand of Corteva Agriscience, is partnering with Cotton Incorporated’s Blue Jeans Go Green denim recycling program to help bring cotton’s sustainability message full circle.

PhytoGen is the first cottonseed partner with the Blue Jeans Go Green program to organize denim collection drives in targeted cotton-producing communities. By recycling worn denim into housing insulation, the Blue Jeans Go Green program keeps textile waste out of landfills and helps with building efforts in communities around the country. PhytoGen will be collecting used denim at various events throughout 2019.

“The collaboration with PhytoGen illustrates the full circle of U.S. cotton sustainability,” says Stacey Gorman, Director of Communications for The Cotton Board. “New seed technologies and the commitment of U.S. cotton growers continue to make sustainable production gains, while the Blue Jeans Go Green denim recycling program addresses end-of-product-life sustainability.”

To raise awareness for the program, PhytoGen and Corteva Agriscience first hosted internal denim drives at their corporate offices and seed production locations. The internal drives took place last November, collecting over 2,000 pieces of denim. 

Derek Racca, PhytoGen Brand Manager said, “This program helps the communities in which we and our customers live and work by keeping denim out of landfills as well as playing a role in donating insulation to charities, such as Habitat for Humanity.”

With the support of the National FFA Foundation and local FFA chapters, PhytoGen is coordinating denim collection drives across the Cotton Belt in early 2019. In addition to collection at local cotton grower meetings, PhytoGen denim drop-off locations will be at:

  • World Ag Expo, Feb. 12-14, Tulare, CA
  • Mid-South Farm & Gin Show, March 1-2, Memphis, TN
  • Texas Cotton Ginners’ Association tradeshow, April 4-5, Lubbock, TX
  • Sunbelt Field Day, July 25, Tifton, GA

“PhytoGen is proud to partner with the Blue Jeans Go Green program in the continuing effort to help communities – and FFA chapters – thrive. Whether it’s denim jeans, jackets, shirts or skirts, every piece of denim makes a difference,” says Racca.

Since its inception in 2006, the Blue Jeans Go Green program has collected more than 2 million pieces of denim and over 3.9 million square feet of insulation has been upcycled from worn denim. Over 40 Habitat for Humanity affiliates have received denim insulation and more than 1,000 tons of textile waste have been diverted from landfills. Corporate partnerships with the Blue Jeans Go Green program predominately have been with retailers and brands who offer a sales incentive for recycling used denim. Past partners include: Wrangler, Gap, American Eagle, J. Crew and Madewell. For more information visit

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