Cat Got Your Jeans?

Japanese zoo auctioning jeans "designed by dangerous animals"

Jul 11, 2014
Outside Magazine
zoo jeans lions tigers and bears distressed denim Takuya Miyamoto Kamine Zoo Japan Japan Real Time outside magazine outside online

A selection of Zoo Jeans' designers, hard at work.    Courtesy of Zoo Jeans

We've all heard the saying "give a lion a pair of jeans to chew on and they'll sell at auction for thousands of dollars." Well, not until now.

A group of volunteers has collaborated with the Kamine Zoo in Hitachi, Japan, to auction off "the only jeans on earth designed by dangerous animals" to promote the zoo and conservation. So far, the fundraiser seems to be working. As of Friday, 15 bids had been placed for a pair of men's size 32 jeans. The current bid? $1,194.

Making the jeans is a simple process. A video on the group's site shows volunteers wrapping car tires in sheets of blue denim, setting them inside enclosures, and letting the animals at them for a few hours. Later, the group takes the pieces of "distressed" fabric and sews them into jeans.

Thus far, lions, tigers, and even bears at the zoo have helped create the one-of-a-kind designs.

"We were looking for ways to promote the zoo and wildlife conservation without spending too much," Zoo Jeans project member Takuya Miyamoto said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. "We also wanted to attract a new, younger generation to take an interest in zoos. That's how we came up with the idea of zoo jeans."

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