Amended in Senate August 1, 2016

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

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

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(Coauthor: Senator Leno)

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February 23, 2015


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

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

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:

P2    1

SECTION 1.  

The Legislature finds and declares all of the
2following:

3(a) Denim is a sturdy cotton twill fabric. To create denim fabric,
4horizontal threads pass under two or more vertical threads.
5However, denim is much more than just a fabric. Denim’s history
6is interwoven with California history from the 1850s through today.

7(b) Since the 17th century through the present day, denim has
8been used to make upholstery, tents, blankets, wagon covers, and
9of course, pants known as jeans.

10(c) Denim jeans were invented in San Francisco during the Gold
11 Rush Era, and in May 1873, the United States Patent and
12Trademark Office approved patent number 139,121 for the
13invention of jeans.

14(d) The history of denim jeans parallels the history of California.
15At first, jeans were designed as practical working clothes. They
16eventually became a symbol of American culture. Jeans have been
17worn by gold miners, cowboys, farm workers, rock stars, beatniks,
18hippies, and people of all walks of life. Jeans were featured in the
19first Hollywood silent films and became an iconic costume in a
20variety of genres, especially westerns and war films.

21(e) Today, California is responsible for about 75 percent of the
22premium denim jeans sold throughout the world. The industry
23employs more than 200,000 people in southern California alone,
24making it the largest fashion manufacturing hub in the United
25States. Denim jeans can be found in the wardrobes of 96 percent
26of American consumers who, on average, own seven pairs. Denim
27jeans represent an estimated $60 billion global market for retailers.

28(f) Celebrities, music artists, models, business people, and
29Californians of all ages continue to wear denim. Jeans have become
30the uniform for several companies in the technology industry in
31Silicon Valley. Prominent technology companies developed genius
32innovations while working in a garage wearing comfortable denim
33jeans.

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34
(g) The cotton industry is vital to the production of denim jeans.
35In California, cotton is grown primarily in the San Joaquin Valley,
36but there is acreage in both the Palos Verde and Sacramento
37Valleys. During the 2015 crop year, over 800 California producers
38grew cotton and 29 California gins ginned over 700,000 bales of
P3    1cotton. One bale of cotton can generate 325 pairs of denim jeans.
2In 2015 there were 743 cotton businesses operating in California,
3providing employment to 10,049 California residents and
4generating revenues of $1.4 billion.

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5(g)

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6begin insert(h)end insert Through corporate social responsibility initiatives, companies
7spread awareness about gender equality, climate change, fair trade,
8workplace equality, and a variety of other contemporary issues.

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9(h)

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10begin insert(i)end insert Several denim companies are now looking into the future
11and making sustainability a corebegin delete principalend deletebegin insert principleend insert of its business
12model. California’s denim industry has worked to shrink its carbon
13 and water footprints.

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14
(j) In order to supply denim companies with cotton, the cotton
15growers are working to become more sustainable by using
16responsible production methods on their farms. Some of the positive
17benefits of these efforts include a decrease in soil erosion,
18irrigation water, energy use, and greenhouse gas emission.
19Additionally, Cotton Incorporated -- the research and promotion
20company for the upland variety of cotton -- has a United States
21program called Blue Jeans Go Green that recycles unwanted
22denim. Both denim and cotton companies are conscious of their
23environmental impact, especially within the State of California.

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24

SEC. 2.  

Section 423.6 is added to the Government Code, to
25read:

26

423.6.  

Denim is the official state fabric.



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