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Here’s a short test. Read the descriptions below, then answer the question that follows:

  • Mom Jeans
  • Denim Capris
  • Jorts
  • Faded Jeans


Mom Jeans. Image credit: SNL

True or False:

1.  All of these are grossly out of style.

2.  All can be used as insulation for a home.

Answers are both true. 

So what if one or all of the above offenders is hanging in your closet? Let me offer you a quick, easy and painless (and shameless) way to rid yourself of these denim offenders. You can donate your used denim through the end of October at Margaret’s Consignment through a program called Denim for a Difference. They are accepting all sorts of used denim, and they won’t even laugh at some of your jorts or mom jeans when you donate them. It’s the perfect opportunity to clean out your closet and get ready for fall.

Now how does that translate into insulation for a home?



When you donate your jeans, they are recycled and converted back to their original cotton fiber. This fiber is then made into insulation for homes. This denim insulation is called UltraTouch™ Denim Insulation. Here’s the interesting part: this insulation is very green and very effective. According to the Cotton From Blue to Green website, “UltraTouch™ is composed of 85% recycled cotton fibers and is an environmentally safe, non-itch insulation without carcinogenic warnings, formaldehyde or chemical irritants. It provides exceptional thermal performance and acoustically provides 30% better sound absorption than traditional fiberglass insulation. In addition, it is one of the only insulating products that contain an active mold/mildew inhibitor. ”

You wouldn’t let your babies lay on your fiberglass insulation, would you? Image credit:

Since 2006, as part of a grass-roots campaign run by college students, this denim insulation has been distributed to Habitat for Humanity affiliates around the country. It started with Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans, after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

Habitat for Humanity home built with denim insulation. Image credit: Cotton Style Files, the Fabric of our Lives.

The denim recycling program that Margaret’s Consignment is working with is called Denim for a Difference. This program is run by The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture and Cotton, Incorporated. These programs are based at colleges and universities all over the nation.

Here are some interesting numbers (from 2010):

  • 500 pairs of jeans = insulation for one house
  • 1 pair of jeans= insulation size of a light switch
  • Over 1300 homes have been insulated through this program.  
recycled denim insulation, ultratouch, ultra touch, recycled cotton insulation, recycled blue jeans, baby, green insulation, healthy insulation

Image credit:

Margaret’s Consignment is located at 2700 Frankfort Avenue and is open Monday through Saturday, 10:00am to 6:00pm, and Sunday noon to 4:00pm. For more information call (502) 896-4706 or visit



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About the Author
Heidi Potter