Kappa Theta Psi

Kappa Theta Psi

by Joshua BrammerStaff Writer

The men of Kappa Theta Psi fraternity held a denim drive on Thursday, Nov. 1, in the BSC to collect old jeans from students. The jeans will eventually be made into insulation that will be used in new homes in the area affected by Hurricane Katrina.

The November denim drive is just one of five such events that the members of the fraternity have planned for this school year. One was held earlier in the fall, and three more are planned for the spring semester.

Junior Justin Mark and senior Paul Steeve are heading the project. Mark said he got the idea for the project from his mother.

“I heard about the project from my mom,” Mark said. “She sent me an article about it, and I approached the guys about doing it. We’ve been looking for more philanthropy events to participate in, and we thought this one was a good way to get the whole campus involved.”

Mark said the fraternity has an overall collection goal of 250 pairs of used denim jeans, with a goal to collect 50 pairs during each of the five drives they have planned. According to a mass e-mail sent out by Mark, the jeans can be in any condition and any size. The only requirement is that the jeans be made of denim. So far, the fraternity has collected 87 pairs.

After the fraternity collects the jeans, they will be taken to the Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity. Outreach Coordinator Beth Gibbins, who works in the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, said Cotton, Inc. is having a nation-wide denim drive called “Cotton. From Blue to Green.”

“Habitat for Humanity is not directly affiliated with Cotton, Inc.’s denim drive tour, but if we get any jeans, we’ll make sure they get to the right people,” Gibbins said.

Cotton, Inc.’s national denim drive will make 14 stops at college campuses this fall, including Ohio State, Wichita State, Mississippi State, Georgia Southern, and Iowa State.

Once the denim jeans are collected, they are sent to a factory to be processed and broken down to the original cotton fiber form. This denim “waste” is then sent to another factory, which processes the denim further, creating a type of insulation called Ultra Touch.

Bonded Logic, Inc. is one of the companies that manufacturs Ultra Touch insulation. According to the Bonded Logic, Inc. Web site, once the denim waste is received by the company, it is treated with a borate solution which makes the fiber fire-, mold- and mildew-resistant. A special fiber is then added to the material, and it is sent through a bonding oven. When removed from the oven, the material forms a large batt that can be cut and shaped to meet the specifications of any of the company’s products.

Once the insulation is finished, it can be used in the construction of houses that were destroyed during Hurricane Katrina. According to an article on KCCI News Channel 8’s Web site, it takes about 500 pairs of denim jeans to insulate a standard house built by Habitat for Humanity.

Students at Simpson think the idea of turning jeans is an interesting one.

“I think it’s an interesting way to be very resourceful,” senior Mary Beth Hanna said.