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Business trends

Sapporo Breweries' new hit -- bluejeans

Japan beer and food makers begin upcycling waste into popular products

For its hot, new pants, Sapporo teamed up with Shima Denim Works in Okinawa Prefecture, an old hand at upcycling a sugar cane byproduct into denim. (Photo by Makoto Okada) 

TOKYO -- Slammed by the pandemic, one Japanese brewery decided to get into the bluejeans business.

It turns out that Sapporo Breweries, based in Hokkaido, had tailor-made raw materials capable of producing denim -- malt lees, hop stems and hop leaves, in other words, waste from the brewing process.

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