Amended in Senate June 21, 2016

Amended in Senate June 15, 2016

Amended in Assembly January 25, 2016

Amended in Assembly April 22, 2015

California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 501

Introduced by Assembly Member Levine

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(Coauthors: Assembly Members Bigelow, Bloom, Gallagher, Gomez, Lopez, Olsen, Ting, and Wood)

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February 23, 2015

An act to add Section 423.6 to the Government Code, relating to state emblems.


AB 501, as amended, Levine. State fabric.

Existing law declares the official state animal, rock, mineral, grass, insect, bird, and marine fish, among other things.

This bill would make denim the official state fabric.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: no. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

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The Legislature finds and declares all of the

3(a) Denim is a sturdy cotton twill fabric. To create denim fabric,
4horizontal threads pass under two or more vertical threads.
P2    1However, denim is much more than just a fabric. Denim’s history
2is interwoven with California history from the 1850s through today.

3(b) Since the 17th century through the present day, denim has
4been used to make upholstery, tents, blankets, wagon covers, and
5of course, pants known as jeans.

6(c) Denim jeans were invented in San Francisco during the Gold
7 Rush Era, and in May 1873, the United States Patent and
8Trademark Office approved patent number 139,121 for the
9invention of jeans.

10(d) The history of denim jeans parallels the history of California.
11At first, jeans were designed as practical working clothes. They
12eventually became a symbol of American culture. Jeans have been
13worn by gold miners, cowboys, farm workers, rock stars,begin delete “hippies,”end delete
14begin insert beatniks, hippies,end insert and people of all walks of life. Jeans were
15featured in the first Hollywood silent films and became an iconic
16costume in a variety of genres, especially westerns and war films.

17(e) Today, California is responsible for about 75 percent of the
18premium denim jeans sold throughout the world. The industry
19employs more than 200,000 people in southern California alone,
20making it the largest fashion manufacturing hub in the United
21States. Denim jeans can be found in the wardrobes of 96 percent
22of American consumers who, on average, own seven pairs. Denim
23jeans represent an estimated $60 billion global market for retailers.

24(f) Celebrities, music artists, models, business people, and
25Californians of all ages continue to wear denim. Jeans have become
26the uniform for several companies in the technology industry in
27Silicon Valley. Prominent technology companies developed genius
28innovations while working in a garage wearing comfortable denim

30(g) begin deleteDenim companies have used their brands to positively impact
31the global community by spreading end delete
begin insertThrough corporate social
32responsibility initiatives, companies spread end insert
awareness about gender
33equality, climate change, fair trade, workplace equality, and a
34variety of other contemporary issues.

35(h) Several denim companies are now looking into the future
36and making sustainability a core principal of its business model.
37California’s denim industry has worked to shrink its carbon
begin delete footprint and combat drought.end deletebegin insert and water footprints.end insert


SEC. 2.  

Section 423.6 is added to the Government Code, to

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Denim is the official state fabric.