From The Archives: Repurpose and Reuse Jeans - Levi's Hong Kong

Levi’s® has always had a long after-life. And the tradition of repurposing and reusing runs deep. It began with blue collar workers in the 19th century, when miners and carpenters would patch them up and pass them on to the next person to wear.

From The Archives: Repaired Jeans - Levi's Hong Kong

The practice continued with Levi’s® being worn by multiple generations in a family—like the denim jacket first worn by Colorado coal miner John Piassoli and later by his daughter, Patricia.

Rancher Clem Johnson repurposed dozens of Levi’s® he saved over the years, patching some to extend their life or reusing others as rags, small gaskets, and even to fix his beloved straw hat. One teenager repurposed a pair of Levi’s® by adding bandanas to the hem to create bootcut jeans. Later, the jeans became a thrift shop Halloween costume before making it to our Archives.

If we look at the 1960’s, when the concept, “thrift store chic” began, finding a good pair of Levi’s® was like finding a hidden treasure. Each new owner would add something that made them uniquely their own, whether that meant transforming them into colorful flairs, converting pants into skirts or personalizing them with embroidery.

From The Archives: Different types of repurpose jeans - Levi's Hong Kong

And we’ve even found Levi’s® in the most unexpected places. Like in a home built in the late 1800’s in Herber City, Utah, where they were used as insulation.

Step inside the archives with Levi’s® Historian Tracey Panek and take a look at the oldest pair of Levi’s® in the world, which we call the XX. What’s remarkable about these classic jeans is they’ve been worn by at least three different people since about 1879. They’ve stood the test of time and proven that Levi’s® lasts through generations.