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Blue Jeans Go Green Meets Zappos in Ambitious New Denim Recycling Effort

Cotton Incorporated and Zappos want to make sure there are no more excuses when it comes to denim recycling.

Launching during New York’s Denim Days festival this weekend, June 8-9, a new partnership will marry “Zappos for Good,” the charitable wing of the footwear and apparel retailer, with Blue Jeans Go Green, a Cotton Inc. initiative that partners with other organizations to provide shoppers with more options to recycle their old denim.

The arrangement will allow consumers to mail in old denim to Blue Jeans Go Green via a Zappos For Good prepaid shipping label that will be available to customers with a Zappos account. Now, all a prospective recycler has to do to discard their old denim is simply pack it up into any size shipping box, print off a label and drop it off at a local UPS location.

Beyond simply ensuring more denim gets reused instead of dumped into a landfill, Cotton Inc.’s director of consumer marketing, Andrea Samber, says the program is also a step in the right direction for the entire denim recycling movement.

“Providing consumers with pre-paid mailing labels makes participating in the denim recycling movement so much more accessible,” Samber said in a statement.  “We are proud to be part of the Recycle program by Zappos for Good, which has assembled so many powerful and sustainable options for helping others.  Zappos for Good is the newest addition to our ever-growing roster of fantastic partners working to close the loop on cotton sustainability and give back to communities across the U.S.”

As Samber suggests, Blue Jeans Go Green has already been working hard on recycling and waste, an issue currently plaguing the fashion industry. However, the organization says denim with a high cotton percentage is a great candidate for textile recycling and it currently turns the cotton it receives into natural cotton fiber insulation, as opposed to harmful and chemically intensive fiberglass insulation. Cotton Inc. even uses some of this insulation to help build houses in communities across the United States.

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Cotton Inc.’s new partner is also a veteran in the recycling space, having already operated Zappos for Good for many years. In fact, the program could more accurately be described as a department within Zappos’ business that helps to foster its community and charitable efforts. As such, it has experience operating a great number of charitable programs including “Give Back with Shaq,” a toy drive with legendary basketball player Shaquille O’Neal, and “Soles4Souls,” a program that provides gently-used clothing to people in need around the world.

The Zappos for Good “Recycle” program already partners with Native Shoes to provide essentially the same service as Blue Jeans Go Green. However, that partnership is somewhat limited and only works for Native’s own footwear.

With its new partnership with Cotton Inc., Steven Bautista, Zappos for Good’s head of charitable giving, says the door has been opened wide for anyone that wants to participate in denim recycling.

“With Recycle by Zappos for Good, our goal is to help make it easy for any person to give and make a difference,” Bautista explained. “It’s through joining forces with our valued partners that this is possible, and we’re passionate about powering Cotton’s Blue Jeans Go Green efforts to do more with less through its denim recycling initiatives.”