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Karen Roe

Money doesn’t grow on trees; it’s born at a Levi’s factory! Or at least it used to be. For decades, dollars were printed on repurposed denim scraps. (Contrary to what Monopoly would have you believe, money’s actually made of a cotton/linen blend, not paper. “Money laundering” makes more sense now, eh?)

But in the ’90s, as you recall, people started embracing stretchy denim like jeggings and skinny jeans. Denim manufacturers changed their formulations. And Crane, the sole supplier of soft money-paper, was shit outta luck, because even ONE STRAND of spandex can render denim scraps unusable. Spandex: It may hug your curves, but it also makes your dollars weak. Weaker than the exchange rate does already.

So what’s Crane to do? According to the Atlantic:

The company … now looks “beyond the waste stream” to “the natural fiber itself.” It now buys cotton, in other words, rather than repurposed denim.

Basically, our painted-on jeans mean money ain’t recycled anymore. (So is Crane secretly behind the baggy “boyfriend jeans” trend?) Thankfully, once we embrace our inevitable dystopian future, we won’t need physical dollars — we’ll all have barcodes printed on our hands.