Stovepipe or bootcut, obsidian-hued or acid-washed, cuffed or hemmed, the versatile jean is undoubtedly the MVP of our closet. So true blue is our love of denim, in fact, that our affection persists long past its expiration date. Here, we've rounded up seven great ways to recycle your old jeans, leading to a beautiful—and surprising—denim afterlife. Above, recycled-denim couture by It designer Rogan, one of several items that Barneys New York and Elle auctioned off in 2009 to benefit the environmental nonprofit Oceana.
Used, abused, shredded, and worn down to the threads, our favorite jeans have stuck around longer than most significant others. Is it any wonder, then, that we’re loathe give our bootcuts the boot even when they’re one pant leg away from Do Not Resuscitate? Take heart, your dungarees are in a better place. From cozy wall insulation to custom-made ottomans, denim’s afterlife is just as true blue.