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Months ago we had a week-long debate at TCG about just about every material we were going to use in the capital improvements at our property, Medley Park Homes in Golden Valley. We all agreed that we would focus on making Medley Park an example of the most socially responsible and innovative rehabilitation projects EVER, but these days you could drown in the mass of ‘green’ building products. We now have a plan and the community is going to be great once the renovations are complete, however we must hand it to Levi’s, whose SF based headquarters are undergoing a renovation of its own.

Apparently, Levi’s is doing more than just making ridiculous TV spots because an innovation that caught our attention was the use of recycled denim for building insulation. The company first pulled it off with 200,000 pairs of discarded jeans in 2008 for the Renzo Piano-designed California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. Some spaces were covered in plexiglass to assure people that the walls are in fact, chock full of old jeans.

Among the ways Levi’s is sourcing denim to recycle is thru their partnership with Goodwill. Customers are encouraged to donate their jeans to the chain of thrift-stores and whatever isn’t purchased is scooped up by Levi’s for re-use.

Another facet of Levi’s Cares, their environmental initiative, is prompting customers to wash in cold water and line dry to reduce the energy consumption of caring for jeans. To push this along they’re currently holding a Care to Air Design Challenge that “seeks the world’s most innovative, covetable, and sustainable air-drying solution for clothing.” Entry deadline is 31 July 2010 and the prize is $10,000.