Earth Day: American Eagle partners with Brad Pitt on denim recycling

Earth Day: American Eagle partners with Brad Pitt on denim recycling
American Eagle Outfitters stores, like this one at Hollywood & Highland in Hollywood, are recycling denim. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Going green just got that much easier.

In honor of Earth Day, apparel company American Eagle Outfitters, in partnership with Brad Pitt's eco-friendly housing organization Make It Right, has invited customers to donate their used denim in exchange for a 20% discount on new jeans. The denim will be turned over to Make It Right to be made into insulation for the solar-powered, affordable houses it builds.

The donation program, which started April 11 and is to be ongoing, is part of the clothier's effort to foster sustainability. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that more than 24 billion pounds of unwanted clothing, shoes and other textiles end up in U.S. landfills annually, and American Eagle hopes to reduce that number.

"This partnership underscores our commitment to eliminate waste and preserve vital resources, while enabling our customers to become involved in our sustainability efforts and to truly close the loop on the textile waste cycle," Helga Ying, American Eagle Outfitters vice president of external engagement and social responsibility, said in a statement.

Pitt founded Make It Right in 2007 to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. Years later, the organization has spread across the nation, building sustainable, affordable homes, buildings and communities for those in need. This will be the first time the company has used denim as insulation, according to Taylor Royle, the organization's communications director.

Denim can be donated at any American Eagle store.

Follow Tre'vell Anderson on Twitter: @TrevellAnderson.