Zoo Jeans Feature Distressed Rips & Tears Made By Lions, Tigers & Bears (Oh My!)
A Japanese zoo has come up with an innovative new way to raise funds for the zoo and the World Wildlife Fund. Known as the Zoo Jeans project, the charitable initiative invites lions, tigers and bears at the Kamine Zoo to fashionably claw and bite denim blue jeans which will subsequently be auctioned online.
The scheme was hatched by the Mineko Club, a group of volunteers who have partnered with the Kamine Zoo in Hitachi City, along with a Tokyo advertising executive who was looking for a way to give something back to the zoo he fondly recalled visiting as a child.
While some might say the animals are being exploited in some sort of caged critter sweatshop, a closer look reveals a plan where everyone's a winner: the animals receive new and interesting stimulation while the Kamine Zoo and the WWF receive a welcome jolt of funding.
“We wrapped several pieces of denim around tires and other toys,” according to zoo director Nobutaka Namae. “Once they were thrown into the enclosures, the animals jumped on them.” Maybe they were hoping there were people (or parts thereof) inside, heh!
Distressing the denim (check out this video) was nicely challenging for the creatures as well. “The denim was actually much tougher than we had thought, and it turned out nicely destroyed,” explained Namae. After being salvaged from the prickly clutches of the beasts, the jeans underwent any needed repairs, were framed behind glass, and are being displayed at the Kamine Zoo until July 21st.
Of the two pair of jeans distressed by lions, one by tigers and one by bears, one pair of each (dubbed L1, T1 and B1) are being auctioned online to raise funds for the Kamine Zoo and the World Wildlife Fund. As of July 9th, bidding for the pair of jeans “Designed by Tigers” had reached ¥121,000 or about $1,190. (images via Kamine Zoo, Hitachi City)