Ahh, the good old days. The air was fresher, the pants didn’t come with a yeast infection warning, and even the money was better. Because to the list of things that shrinking jeans are slowly ruining — self-esteem, your boyfriend’s wardrobe, your ‘anti’ stance on photoshop — you can now add the U.S. dollar. Or its paper form anyway.
The Washington Post reported today that an increase of spandex in denim products is directly responsible for the degrading state of our paper-printed currency. Since the 1800s, when the U.S. consolidated its money into a single system of currency, money has been printed on a unique cotton blend paper that has been supplied by a single company, Crane. About 30 percent of Crane’s cotton came from leftover denim scraps supplied by the garment industry, which were rewoven into paper notes.
And just where do your J. Brand 620s come in? Well, in the 1990s, fashion wasn’t jazzed about the continued relevance of parachute pants — it was also discovering ways to blend denim with spandex in order to create stretchier garments. Great news for those of who like a little forgiveness in our pants, not so great for Crane. By the early 2000s, almost every pair of jeans contained at least a hint of stretch — rendering them useless for moneymaking in that sense of the word. Crane now buys its cotton straight from the source instead of recycling old jeans.
So next time you need to justify your aversion to jeggings, you can blame the hate on your love for the reduce, reuse, recycle manta. On the other hand, maybe this is further evidence we should do away with bills altogether. Just think what you’d save in ATM fees.
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