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Kamine Zoo tigers distress denim for designer jeans to raise funds for wildlife conservation at Kamine Zoo in Hitachi, Japan.

Fashion and wildlife conservation form unlikely pair

In the cutthroat world of fashion, there’s nothing much designers haven’t tried when it comes to trying to be unique. Well, almost.

A Japanese fashion label is using big cats in zoos to create designer jeans – the proceeds of which go towards wildlife conservation.

The distressed denim look is usually created by machines, not the jaws and razor-sharp teeth of lions and tigers. In this case, the look is achieved by throwing denim-covered tyres and giant rubber balls into the enclosures.

The animals chew and distress the fabric, which is then made into jeans and sold under the label ‘The Zoo Jeans’ project. The initiative is the brain-child of the Mineko Club, a volunteer group of zoo supporters partnered with Kamine Zoo in Hitachi City, Japan.

The jeans are currently on display at the Kamine Zoo until July 21 and three pairs of jeans are being auctioned online to raise funds for the zoo and World Wildlife Fund.

As of Wednesday, the pair of jeans “Designed by Tigers” has raised ¥121,000 ($US1,190).