Quantcast

Innovative Company Transforms Recycled Jeans Into Coasters, Wallets and Rings

Business

While most people throw away old magazines and denim jeans or recycle them, a small company uses the materials to make cool items you likely wouldn't have imagined possible.

Junk mail, newsprint and old money are among the items Lincoln, NE-based Iris Industries uses to make composites that eventually produce architectural finishes, tile, consumer products, furniture and a few automotive applications. Its newest product is Denimite, a compost material made of recycled denim scraps.

Denimite is either pressed into sheets for secondary processes like cutting, gluing and sanding or pressed into custom molds. End uses include wallets, drink coasters and rings.

A wallet made of Iris Industries denimite is pictured. Photo credit: Iris Industrie

Iris gets its raw materials from Bonded Logic, a sustainable manufacturer from Chandler, AZ, and Hayward, CA-based Entropy Resins provides eco-friendly resin. The company also offers panels made from agricultural waste like walnut shells, sunflower seed hulls, grasses and cotton fibers, with each designed to showcase the material.

A ring made of Denimite from Iris Industries. Photo credit: Iris Industries

The company plans on expanding its offering to larger applications like countertops if it gets the necessary funding. Iris currently uses a press to create 16-inch-by-16-inch sheets, but wants to expand to 30-inch-by-120-inch.

"Later, we will further develop our own near net molding capabilities," the company writes on its funding page. "We are diligently working towards this near net production to realize the benefits of less waste, efficient production, lower cost per unit, ability for more complex designs, and increased strength."

To display how strong Denimite is, Iris posted a video in which a small piece of the product is banged repeatedly against a 161-pound anvil. The company also says it hung the anvil from the Denimite.

Screenshot from an Iris Industries video.

"Every age through the millennia has been defined by a material—stone, bronze, iron, plastic, etc," the company wrote. "We believe the new age will be the age of composites. Nature did it first with composites like wood, bone and shell.

"This is the genesis of a new age of learning from nature and exploring new bio-composites that will replace less efficient materials."

Visit EcoWatch’s SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS page for more related news on this topic.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Arx0nt / Moment / Getty Images

By Alina Petre, MS, RD

Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is a fat-soluble vitamin essential for optimal health.

Read More
Plastic waste that started as packaging clogs tropical landfills. apomares / iStock / Getty Images

By Clyde Eiríkur Hull and Eric Williams

Countries around the world throw away millions of tons of plastic trash every year. Finding ways to manage plastic waste is daunting even for wealthy nations, but for smaller and less-developed countries it can be overwhelming.

Read More
Sponsored
Pexels

By Katherine Marengo, LDN, RD

In recent years, functional foods have gained popularity within health and wellness circles.

Read More
Despite fierce opposition from local homeowners, a section of the SUNOCO Mariner II East Pipeline cuts through a residential neighborhood of Exton, PA. Erik McGregor / LightRocket / Getty Images

By Jeff Turrentine

To celebrate the 50th birthday of one of America's most important environmental laws, President Trump has decided to make a mockery out of it.

Read More
With well over a billion cars worldwide, electric vehicles are still only a small percentage. An economist from the University of Michigan Energy Institute says that is likely to change. Maskot / Getty Images

In 2018, there were about 5 million electric cars on the road globally. It sounds like a large number, but with well over a billion cars worldwide, electric vehicles are still only a small percentage.

Read More