Illustrated by Ammiel Mendoza.
You know that pair of innocent-looking stretch skinny jeans hanging in your wardrobe? Bet you never thought they could be the root cause of a financial meltdown, did you?
According to British Vogue, up to 30% of the cotton used by Crane, the company that provides the paper used to make American currency, is sourced from waste denim products. However, spandex, also known as Lycra, is commonly added to jeans — particularly skinnies — for extra stretch and to help retain their shape. But, unfortunately for the business, this so-called "contaminant addition" has proved to be near hazardous.
The addition of spandex to denim garments renders the valuable waste product Crane seeks out useless, as even a “single fiber of spandex” has the ability to ruin a batch of currency paper by degrading the strength of the material. Woah, that's economy-shaking stuff right there. Voicing his concerns over the issue, Jerry Rudd, managing director of global sourcing at Crane, told The Washington Post, “There are no denim products out there that we can find that are basically not contaminated.”
So, does this mean sacrificing our skinny jeans for the boyfriend leg in order to save the dollar? Not quite. According to Rudd, Crane has ingeniously adapted its cotton sourcing methods to look "beyond the waste stream," instead purchasing the material in its natural form, rather than from denim. Thank goodness, because those J.Brand’s ain't going anywhere. (Vogue)