The venture is being promoted by a local branch of Loft chainstores to help revitalise the Tohoku area.

As part of the Tohoku region’s revitalisation activities, Sendai’s Loft store has been offering up their fourth floor “activity space” as an area to promote new goods and services from local students. This year, they’ll be introducing the “Zoo Jeans” project, an initiative by Sendai City’s Tohoku Gakuin University, which aims to support the Yagiyama region and its local zoological park with the production of denim jeans, frayed from the scratches and bite marks of lions. Previously manufactured in 2014 by volunteer organisations to support the Hitachi Kamine Zoo in Ibaraki Prefecture, the Zoo Jeans are making a comeback with a limited run of only ten items.


The two lion “designers” this year were residents of the Yagiyama Zoological Park: Curtis, a 19-year-old male, and O’Neal, a 16-year-old female. After gnawing and scratching their way through pieces of denim attached to their everyday driftwood log toys on 25 June, Loft posted photos of their handiwork on Twitter.

The denim will be passed over to Okayama Prefecture’s Momotaro and Japan Blue, two of the country’s top jeans manufacturers, who will create ten pairs of jeans from the material, giving careful consideration to the placement of claw and bite marks on the material.


The jeans will be sold via an online auction starting August 1 for 98,000 yen (US$957.55) each, plus tax. Proceeds from the sales will be donated to Yagiyama Zoological Park to be used for their animal environment preservation activities.


To see animals working the denim for the 2014 run of Zoo Jeans, which included bears and tigers, check out the short clip below.

Source: Sendai Keizai Shimbun
Images: Zoo Jeans