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Admit it. We all have them — an old pair of blue jeans, maybe a ratty jean jacket that really belong in the trash heap.

If you think you can part with that old favorite, consider joining the local Theisen's Home Farm Auto stores in a denim recycling program. This month, the family-owned Theisen's will collect old denim from customers and in return, the store will give them a discount coupon to purchase new denim.

It's all part of a partnership with Blue Jeans Go Green, a recycling program sanctioned by Cotton Inc. The program collects denim from a variety of retailers and then partners with Bonded Logic Inc. to transform the material into UltraTouch Denim Insulation.

Since 2006, the recycling efforts have led to 2.7 million square feet of denim insulation for use in building, a portion of which has been provided to help communities in need through organizations such as Habitat for Humanity.

 "It can be any type of denim apparel: shorts, jackets, jeans," said Peter Theisen, the retailer's marketing promotions specialist. "It doesn't matter the condition, color, size or manufacturer. We would appreciate it if it isn't covered in the farm, so to speak."

He said the goal is to collect 3,500 denim pieces. "It keeps all that waste from the landfill and turns it into something positive and beneficial," Theisen said.

Customers receive one coupon per donated item. Samples of the denim insulation are on display at Theisen's stores, including Davenport. The collection ends Oct. 31.

Theisen said the first-time partnership comes as the fourth-generation company celebrates its 90th year in business. "We thought this fit well with how we like to be involved in our communities and giving back," he added. 

For more information on Blue Jeans Go Green, visit Theisen's on Facebook.

Hy-Vee introduces Fair Trade scallops

Just in time for National Seafood Month, Hy-Vee Inc. has announced it is offering Fair Trade Certified fresh and frozen scallops in its 245 grocery stores — becoming the first Midwest retailer to do so.

Hy-Vee said the world’s first domestically sourced Fair Trade seafood will begin hitting shelves this month including at its Quad-City area stores.

“Providing Fair Trade scallops gives our customers confidence that the scallops they enjoy from Hy-Vee were sourced responsibly,” said Brett Bremser, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer.

Hy-Vee is partnering with Fair Trade USA, a nonprofit organization and leading certifier of Fair Trade products in North America, to expand its Fair Trade seafood offerings. In March, the West Des Moines-based grocer announced it transitioned 100 percent of its service case yellowfin tuna to Fair Trade certified sources as part of its new Seafood Procurement Policy.

“Fair Trade is all about empowering the people behind our favorite products,” said Julie Kuchepatov, seafood director at Fair Trade USA. “Thanks to Hy-Vee’s scallop offerings, Hy-Vee customers can extend these benefits to U.S. fishermen every time they shop.”


Q-C fundraising firm presents: Justin Tolan, the chief fundraising adviser for AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising, Bettendorf, was a co-presenter at the Iowa Hospital Association's 2017 annual meeting last week in Des Moines.

Tolan and Caleb Hegna of UnityPoint Health–Des Moines, presented a break-out session entitled “Building Your Hospital Endowment” to members of the association.

AMPERAGE employs more than 40 with offices in Bettendorf, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines and Cedar Falls.

Ascentra supports literature fest: Ascentra Credit Union Foundation's generosity helped hundreds of Quad-City area students participate for free at  the 2017 David R. Collins Children's Literature Festival.

The event, held at the Davenport RiverCenter, hosted 900 third- to sixth- grader students for a day of conversation with several authors, including the best-selling author Bruce Coville and internationally acclaimed author of children's nonfiction, Kelly Milner Halls.

For the second year in a row, the foundation provided a $5,000 grant to the festival.

Established in 2013, the foundation honors the memory of the late Paul Lensmeyer, Ascentra Credit Union's president and CEO, and supports the credit union's charitable and educational objectives.  

Biz Bytes is a weekly column by Quad-City Times reporter Jennifer DeWitt. Contact her at 563-383-2318 or