Clothing is often one of the biggest culprits for waste in this country today. Though we all make efforts to pass clothing down to others, donate it to charity or resell it, tons and tons of clothing are thrown away each year. This clothing that ends up in landfills includes jeans and other denim products. These materials, especially durable materials such as denim, can remain in the landfills for many, many years.
Fortunately, a new eco-friendly solution is presenting itself and emerging for reusing this denim. The solution involves recycling denim for use in insulation, and its making big waves as a fiberglass alternative that is easy on the earth.
A company by the name of Bonded Logic developed the material over 35 years and owns patents to the manufacturing process. The end product of that process is UltraTouch Insulation, which contains 80 percent post-consumer recycled natural fibers — fibers derived directly from stone-washed, acid-washed or perhaps never-washed denim.
While similar in texture and shape to traditional rolled fiberglass insulation, recycled denim insulation is, as you may have already guessed, blue in color. UltraTouch is a Class-A Building Product and meets extremely high insulation testing standards for fire and smoke ratings, fungi resistance and corrosiveness. This denim insulation contains 80% post-consumer recycled natural fibers making it a very eco-friendly alternative for anyone looking to use a high quality sustainable building material. Other companies have also realized the benefits of recycling denim for use in insulation and are beginning to develop their own products as well.
But, the big question is does it hold up to traditional fiberglass insulations when it comes to R-value and overall performance? In comparative thicknesses tested, denim insulation actually outperformed fiberglass insulation, recording a higher R-value than its counterpart. This is great news for those wanting a sustainable and recycled solution for the home insulation.
There are also a few other benefits of note. First, denim insulation doesn’t irritate skin and cause it to itch during installation. This is a big benefit if you’ve ever gone through that process before. In fact, denim insulation doesn’t come with any of the health hazard warnings attached to fiberglass insulation. It can be installed without gloves, eye protection or a dust mask. Denim insulation also sits inertly in your walls and floors, blocking the flow of heat without releasing harmful chemicals or irritants, making it a safe solution for the long haul. Denim insulation also outperforms traditional fiberglass insulation when it comes to acoustics and fire resistance as well.
Given the current limited availability of denim insulation, it does currently cost quite a bit more than fiberglass insulation–at least in terms of initial cost. Higher performance and more safety could, however, make those higher initial costs worth it if you’re in the market for new insulation for your home.Tags: Conservation and Utility Savings