8 Ways to Reuse Your Jeans

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This story is part of Earth911’s “Green Eight” series, where we showcase eight ways to green your life in various areas.

How much do you pay for a pair of jeans?

Is it $20, $50, $250…$46,532?

No, that wasn’t a typo. That last number may seem insane, but in 2001, Levi Strauss & Co. paid just that. The company purchased a pair of their own jeans from eBay. The jeans were from a Nevada mining town and hailed all the way from the 1880s.

Although most people will probably never spend that much on some ol’ blues, it does remind us that jeans are a very iconic part of our culture.

In fact, their popularity is growing. In 2004, sales for ladies’ jeans alone were $7.4 billion, up 12 percent from the previous year.

So, if it’s safe to say that some of us our pretty attached to our jeans,  it’s even safer to say that almost everyone has a pair. In turn, almost everyone will have to deal with the dreaded decision to move on from that favorite pair, even if it may be barely in tact. But what next?

In addition to sentimental strings keeping you from tossing them in the trash, jean production itself takes up quite a bit of natural resources and makes it important to think twice before giving them the boot. Just to give you an idea, it takes about 1,500 gallons of water to grow the cotton used to make only one pair.

These factors, plus the grand fact that reuse saves money, leads us to believe that fully utilizing this classic fashion item just makes sense (cents?). So, here are 8 ways to give those blue jeans a second chance.

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  1. I would like to find any recyle place in my area. Since Katrina there are none. We live in the St. Tammany area of La. I have newspaper,magazines, plastic, clothing. Thank You, Carmel

  2. Pingback: Don’t Throw Away Those Jeans Just Yet : The Gate in the Village

  3. You could always donate your jeans to someone who needs them. Repairing them and keeping them a pair of jeans would probably be the best thing in my opinion. Saves time and could help out the less fortunate people out there. Sometimes I wonder what the fascination is about reusing things by changing something into something else, instead of reusing as it was already intended.

  4. Carmel, you should work with your local government to bring recycling to your area. Don’t wait for someone else to make something happen, you can make a difference by speaking up and working on it yourself. Talk to friends and neighbors and maybe get the local media involved.

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