Denim Reuse. Used jeans are collected in order to reuse them for furniture or any other household objects. Less landfilling, more use of secondary material.
1 billion jeans/year are disposed these days worldwide. In case of producing one pair of jeans the followings happen: 10m3 litre water is used for making the needed cotton, at least 30 dkg chemical spray is used at the cotton field, 2,7 kg carbon dioxide is produced. This data inspired the leader of Old Blue and set his company on the path of industrial reuse.

The goal of the company is to reduce the amount of clothes made of denim (jeans' material and in the long-run all clothes materials) which goes to landfill. Also to reduce the need of raw material in case of household furniture making.
They started their work 3 years ago, now they can reuse almost 100 000 pieces of jeans per year, however, their goal is to reach the 1 million pieces per year.
Used jeans are collected and bought at site (Veszprém) and several other cities in Hungary and after cleaning with environment friendly detergent they are reused in the making of furniture or household objects. Jeans are reused as bags, cases, cover for pillows, sofas, chairs and other furniture. In case of the household objects, such as pillows, the inside parts (cushion pad) are made also from waste generated by one of the neighbour companies. This neighbour company generates 300 tonnes of sponge material of which Old Blue can reuse more and more every year. Otherwise this waste would go into an incinerator, but this way their waste treatment cost is reduced and soon will be eliminated thanks to OldBlue.

Resources needed

Collecting denim and other necessary material ( sponge for cushion pad, appr. 100 000 pieces of jeans/year), human resources - 6 employees, consumer society, individuals and companies who donate or sell their used material (clothes, boxes,).

Evidence of success

Less waste landfilling thanks to the reuse of secondary materials (appr. 100 000 pieces of jeans/year, several tonnes of sponge material for cushion pad).
Less gas emissions due to less production of denim, during transport the goal is to do smart delivery to decrease gas emission.
The new products are designed to be as ecofriendly as possible: durability is a key aspect ( in some cases even life-long warranty)
Less water use which is needed for making jeans (10m3 for 1 pair of jeans).

Difficulties encountered

Find partners who can use the uneasily reusable parts of jeans.
Find the part of society, the market who will use the reused materials and products.
Stability of material flow and selling.
Missing technology for recycle or reuse of secondary materials.

Potential for learning or transfer

Increase the incoming material and motivate other partners to collect and reuse clothes.
Project
Main institution
Old Blue - E.Grapp Ltd.
Location
Dél-Alföld, Hungary (Magyarország)
Start Date
January 2014
End Date
Ongoing

Contact

Please login to contact the author.