Have you heard of the insulation made from blue jeans? UltraTouch 100% cotton batt insulation has actually been a very popular seller at Green Depot, and at other purveyors of green building products, for years. When Bonded Logic first started producing the stuff, they sourced the cotton scraps from Mexican textile mills. They were the end-cuttings from making denim blue jeans, and other clothing. I used to have to explain to customers that they weren’t really from old blue jeans themselves, but from post-industrial (pre-consumer) recycled blue jean scrap material.
Not anymore! Bonded Logic is now getting ALL their insulation feedstock from actual used blue jeans. Apparently the Goodwills and Salvation Armies of the Texas area cannot sell all the used jeans they take in to enough American kids looking for their grunge fix. And the market for exported textiles
(to Africa and Asia, for example) has dropped off, so there is this huge supply of faded blue jeans that might otherwise end up in a landfill somewhere. Bonded Logic’s suppliers figured out a way to remove (and recycle!) the copper zippers and rivets so that all that’s left is soft, luxuriant shredded blue jean fluff.
People love to smush their faces into its blue, soft pile. At trade shows, women come to my booth and ask me if they can make a futon out of it, or stuff the sofa cushions with it. Kids want to make pillows out of it, or throw the cushy sample blocks at each other. Well, I suppose you can buy a few batts and take a stab at any of those craft projects, but what I’d really recommend is stuffing it into your walls and ceilings. It comes in a range of widths and thicknesses, so no matter what the configuration of your wall, there’s a size for you. Thinnest is 3.5” (R-13), and thickest is 8” (R-30). The R-value is a measure of how well a material insulates; the higher the number, the better. (Read more about R-values here.)
Here are some other nifty facts about UltraTouch:
- You can handle it with bare hands. It won’t irritate your skin like fiberglass.
- Treated with borate: a natural mineral that repels insects and inhibits mold growth
- Great as a sound dampener, too. Teenagers with drum kits, anyone?
- Doesn’t contain formaldehyde (a carcinogen)
- Can contribute to up to 12 LEED credits.
Tax credits available
You may be eligible for a 30% federal tax credit for your insulation project, up to $1.500. See the U.S. EPA’s Energy Star website to learn more. So whether you’re building a new home or an addition, or renovating your existing space with green products, consider using UltraTouch. Summer is a great time to get those insulation projects wrapped up (no pun intended!) before winter falls and you really need it.
You can install it while you’re listening to Dala’s song “Levi Blues” (watch the video!). Great harmonies from a young female duo with a bright future. My 8-year old’s new favorites!
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