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Denimite repurposes blue jeans into a "green" material


December 2, 2013

A Denimite wallet, with a band made from a recycled bicycle inner tube

A Denimite wallet, with a band made from a recycled bicycle inner tube

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As evidenced by our friend carbon fiber, composite materials get a big boost in strength when fibers are part of the recipe. Examples include composites made with plastic, wood pulp, and flax fibers. Husband-and-wife design team Jen Carlson and Josh Shear have taken this concept to a funky new level, by using shredded old blue jeans to create a denim fiber composite known as Denimite.

Along with the recycled jeans, Denimite also consists of a partially bio-based thermoset resin, that contains no volatile organic compounds. By controlling the pressure at which these two key ingredients are combined, the density and thus the strength of any one item can be tweaked.

The material is reportedly lightweight, water impervious, and because of the random nature in which the denim fibers are distributed, exhibits mechanical strength in all directions. Additionally, the raw materials are relatively cheap and plentiful ... plus it has a cool "blue-jeany" look to it.

Denimite rings

Currently, Denimite is being produced in flat sheets up to one inch in thickness, that can subsequently be cut, sanded and buffed using regular wood-working tools. It could reportedly also be molded.

There are any number of potential uses for the material, although Carlson and Shear believe it could be particularly well-suited for things like countertops, decorative panels, furniture, automotive parts, and consumer goods. They're currently raising funds to develop it further, on Kickstarter. A pledge of US$20 will get you a Denimite wallet, a set of coasters or a ring, when and if the funding goal is met.

Sources: Iris industries, Kickstarter via Inhabitat

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

Just denim micarta, really - old news.


Keith Reeder

I think it is cool that they use blue jeans to make a 'green' product. I like denim and having things made from will be - IMO - cool. I think it has a lot of potential.


Thx for the link keith.

Very interesting potential, especially if it looks good.


Would love to see a Jeep outfitted with this product. Have the plastic panels replaced with this and the seats upholstered in denim. I believe there used to be a Levi edition back in the 70's or 80's.


Thanks for the article Ben.

Glad to see upcycling old clothes is catching on since 90% of all clothes end up in landfill, and over 75% of donated clothes end up hurting the worlds poorest people. We started www.WOVIN.me to address these issues.

@ Keith - your micarta handles are gorgeous. we're going to experiment and incorporate this into some new products. thanks for the tips.

@ Iris - keep up the good work!

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