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Jeans Designed by Lions, Tigers & Bears

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Jeans Designed by Lions, Tigers & Bears

Distressed jeans have been in fashion for years, but now you can actually cover your tush in a pair playfully torn apart by lions, tigers or bears. A volunteer group called the Mineko Club came up with the creative idea of  ”Zoo Jeans“ as way to generate much-needed funds for the Kamine Zoo in Hitachi, Japan.

The Zoo Jeans are touted as ”the only jeans on earth designed by dangerous animals.”  To enlist the help of the big toothed and clawed animals, volunteers wrap the animals’ favorite toys, like rubber balls and tires, with sheets of denim. Then, according to the Zoo Jeans website “we return them to the animals and let nature run its course. The animals roar, gnaw and claw at their toys, and when they’re done we gather up what’s left of the damaged denim.”



Then humans cut the fabric and sew the jeans, but every rip and tear is “created with pure animal instinct.”  A video of the process shows just how excited the animals are to participate in this fundraising effort for the Zoo. When the new denim-covered toys are placed in their enclosures they run over to the objects with obvious enthusiasm. Zoo Director, Nobutaka Namae, said he was surprised about how well the denim held together: ”The denim was actually much tougher than we had thought, and it turned out nicely destroyed.”

Rather than sell the Zoo Jeans at one price, the Mineko Club auctions off the jeans one by one via Japan’s Yahoo Auction site. One pair of tiger-distressed jeans, dubbed the “T1,” reached a bid of 121,000 yen, or about $1,200, earlier this week, according to Yahoo News.

The first three pair of jeans will be on display at the Kamine Zoo until July 21st. All profits generated by Zoo Jeans will be donated to the Kamime Zoo and the World Wildlife Fund.

A photo gallery of the jeans can be found here.



Next page: Watch the Making of Zoo Jeans

All of the photos above are compliments of the Mineko Club and the Kamime Zoo.

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Cherise Udell

Cherise Udell is a mom, clean air advocate, anthropologist and feline aficionado with the nomadic habit of taking spontaneous sojourns to unusual destinations. Before her adventures in motherhood, she was an intrepid Amazon jungle guide equipped with a pair of sturdy wellingtons and a 24-inch machete, as well as a volunteer at a rainforest animal rescue center.


+ add your own
2:49AM PDT on May 3, 2015

The whole ripped denim fad is such a laughable fashion rip-off. Can't believe anyone had the chutzpah to sell people damaged clothes for a fortune.

But, it's great that they are being used to help animals. These lions, tigers and bears obviously enjoyed their new playthings. Kudos to those who came up with this idea; it's real lateral thinking.

5:22PM PDT on Mar 30, 2015

Thanks for sharing!

5:09PM PDT on Mar 12, 2015


4:57AM PST on Feb 3, 2015


6:04AM PST on Nov 29, 2014


4:57AM PST on Nov 19, 2014

Good grief, what will they think of next. Thanks Cherise.

2:36AM PDT on Oct 30, 2014

Thanks for sharing!

4:53PM PDT on Oct 26, 2014

I really quite like this idea. Seems like an overall win-win.

2:33PM PDT on Oct 16, 2014

I, too, despise zoos, but I like the recycling idea. When I have shoes that are too worn to donate to charity, I wash and give them to my friend's cats. They like the unusual "toys!"

2:10AM PDT on Oct 7, 2014

Thank you!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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