Blue jeans: why so popular? They allow for mud-pie slinging, they are great tree-climbing garb—practically indestructible. And except for designer jeans, they are relatively cheap. The more they fade or wear out—the better. Right?
Excess. I tried to find out just how many pairs of jeans are manufactured in a year’s time. Here are the round numbers I found. In 1957 (probably the year I got my first pair of dungarees) 150 million pairs were sold worldwide. By 1967, 200 million pairs were sold; 1977, 500 million and so on.
Every pair of jeans I’ve had in my lifetime seemed to have a mini-memoir attached—each pair associated with some ‘riveting’ rite of passage story and button-fly memory. So I get attached, and parting with a favorite pair of jeans is a little difficult.
Think of it this way, Nancy. Under the right circumstances, your worn out jeans can go on to serve a new purpose. You’re not losing a pair of jeans, you’re gaining a good recycling deed.
Last week it was announced that automobile seats are starting to be made with recycled denim, specifically the 2012 Ford Focus. And I’ve heard about how you can send your jeans off to camp and they return as a pair of sandals or sneakers. Remember overalls? If you’re handy with a sewing machine one could make them into potholders, coasters, quilts, cell phone bags, doggie duds, and pocket wall organizers.
And, you may have noticed that denim is being used for making home insulation. See this Cotton Inc. Cotton From Blue to Green.org website program history. With this program, jeans are converted to cotton fiber house insulation. The website is jam-packed with interesting info. In round numbers, the formula is: 500 pairs of jeans can insulate one average sized home. Keep your ears open for denim drives.
I know a vendor who’d love to sell you his 500 pairs.
Nancy R. Peck