Professor collects denim for good cause

Monta Reinfelde

This is the right moment for WKU students to revise their closets and donate some old pairs of jeans or worn-out denim shirts to give someone a warm home in the upcoming winter.

According to, the denim drive was first created in 2006 by a student organization to educate students about the “natural, renewable and recyclable attributes of denim.”

“The Cotton. From Blue to Green. denim drive is a call-to-action to donate denim and give it ‘new life’ by converting it into UltraTouch Denim Insulation,” the website reported. “The insulation is then provided to communities in need to assist with building efforts.”

For the third year, this program takes place in Warren County through the Warren County Extension Service. All the collected denim will be donated to Habitat for Humanity.

Kathy Croxall, a professor in the family and consumer sciences department and a member of the Warren County Extension Service, is the one who collects denim at WKU.

“They take the jeans and kind of shred them back into the fibers,” she said. “Then they press them into sheets and put them up as insulation in homes to keep them warm. Most of them go down to a Gulf Coast area to deal with what happened after the Hurricane Katrina.”

Croxall said she has not really advertised that she is collecting denim at the university. Therefore, no WKU students have donated their old jeans and denim shirts yet.

If someone is willing to donate, they can bring their denim clothing to Croxall at Academic Complex in room 302B. The deadline to donate is Oct. 30.

“(The County Extension Service has) a lot (of denim) that they collect from the whole area,” she said. “A lot of youth groups and high school groups gather it too. I have some at my home that I collected from my neighbor, and that’s it.”

Habitat for Humanity is a nationwide, non-profit organization, Croxall said. The organization builds houses for people who don’t have enough money to buy a house. She said even just a pair of jeans is a good way to help them.