The Apparel Merchandising and Design Association (AMDA), an Illinois State registered student organization, collected over 2,800 articles of denim clothing this October.

The pieces of denim, mostly consisting of jeans, will be recycled into building insulation for Habitat for Humanity. AMDA’s collection was a part of the Cotton Incorporated’s Blue Jeans Go Green Campaign, a nationwide denim recycling program.

Collection sites at large retail outlets such as J.Crew and the Gap inspired AMDA to apply to join this project. AMDA students became passionate about denim recycling because as future professionals in the fashion industry, it is their responsibility to understand the environmental impacts of their buying habits.

“While it is great to donate your used clothing to secondhand stores, we are consuming and discarding our clothes at such a rapid speed that even thrift stores are bursting at the seams. Blue Jeans Go Green is a great alternative to throwing away those out of style or worn out jeans,” said Elisabeth Reed, AMDA advisor and Family and Consumer Sciences assistant professor.

AMDA attributes the success of its campaign to Illinois State University students, faculty, and staff, as well as the Bloomington-Normal community. Local schools, businesses and news outlets all came together to support this cause.

If you are looking for ways to recycle your used denim or for more information about the Blue Jeans Go Green Campaign, visit