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A pair of denim jeans are a favourite choice of attire for millions. This popular indigo-coloured piece of clothing was born in 1873, courtesy a tailor named Jacob Davis, and Levi Strauss, owner of a fabric house.
Crafted for cowboys and miners, it became a choice for mail workers in the US looking for sturdy wear, something that can stand the constant wear and tear of a coal mine, for example. These were uncomfortable at that time, and no one wore them on the street.
The 50’s saw the humble pair of jeans entering the highly influential movie industry when heartthrob James Dean wore them in Rebel Without A Cause in 1955.
Denim attire was also worn by Marlon Brando, leading to blue jeans being banned in public schools.
The 60’s saw the casual blue jeans being embraced by the hippie culture of freelove and youth, with customized jeans becoming popular. Blue Jeans also became a way to illustrate gender equity.
The fashion industry took notice of the denim phenomenon in the late 70’s, with Calvin Klien pioneering blue jeans on the fashion runway. It ran provocative advertising to attain mindshare, and catapulted denim to become much more than casualwear, desirable by both men and women.
Jeans are now a staple of our wardrobe, and are the go-to garment when we don’t know what to wear.
However, producing a pair of denim takes a toll on pollution levels, as it takes about ten thousand liters of water to make one.
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