The Guardian writes in the article "I Mine For 100 Year Old Jeans": "The first time I dug up some vintage denim, I had no idea what it was worth. It just looked like some old rags, so instead of carefully uncovering it, I pulled on it and tore it to pieces. I’d actually been digging for antique whisky bottles, and what I didn’t know then was that those “rags” were likely worth thousands.

Out in the desert in California, Nevada and Arizona, there are abandoned silver mines like buried time capsules, virtually untouched, and you can find vintage bottles down there that are worth a lot to collectors. But as I searched for them, I kept coming across these scraps of denim, because jeans, especially Levi’s, were worn by the silver miners in the late 1800s. When a miner got a new pair of work pants, he’d cut up the old ones and use them for lagging around pipes, so there were a lot of antique jeans buried out here.

I did a bit of research into the history of Levi’s, and realised collectors would pay a lot for them, even for scraps. I started going to the mines regularly with my father-in-law, a geologist, to look especially for denim. But the mines have been covered in rocks and trash, so it can take weeks and months to dig down, lifting big rocks one by one. We crawl around wearing hard hats and head lamps. We don’t tunnel underground, just dig through rocks inside the mine opening, but it can be dangerous: we’re crawling around on probably 100 tonnes of unstable rocks..."

Talk about recycling and reuse.

Read the full article here on The Guardian.

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