Monday, September 04, 2006

"Tradional lifestyle and ecological product in Japan"

Topic 1 "Kimono"

Have you heard of Kimono?

You may seen Kimono in movies like "Last Samurai" and “Sayuri”. Kimono is a well-known traditional dress (mainly for women) from the Edo Period. Kimono is a very expensive dress and it is traditionally passed down through generations. Since Kimono may come with very expensive tags (I don't know if they had price tags!), people from the Edo period preferred to purchase Kimono from the used Kimono dealer . When a Kimono becomes no longer needed, it will be recycled back to the Kimono dealer. Kimono is a valuable product where every little bits of pieces are used. For example, an old Kimono can be used to patch similar Kimonos, and often handbags are made from them too.
Kimono is very unique in a way that it requires no space for storage. It can be stored in a closet like a flat paper! (since houses in Japan are a lot smaller than western houses!)

In the summer people wear summer type kimono called "yukata". It is very soft in texture, and made for nightclothing (pajamas). The worned out yukata is also recycable, and it will eventually be used for diapers for baby and rags to wipe the floor.

Today, Kimono is commonly worn on special occasions. Examples are: Weddings, Seijinshiki (coming age ceremony, celebrate passage to adulthood (age 20)) and summer fireworks (Yukata). But recently Kimono is becoming popular scene in young age, and famous department stores are selling Kimono in affordable price.

So, many of green activist in Japan are hoping for the revival of Kimono scene in Japan.
I am not saying being too westernized is a bad thing, but keeping goodness in our tradition is really important and at the same time, it is ecologically friendly.

So, what is a similar product (kimono) in your country?
Or do you know any clothing product that has historical background like Kimono?
If you are invited to Eco-Product 2006, would you want to try on the Kimono? (they have one for the guys too! Do not worry!)

PS: the picture above is mine, and I know its awful, but please be nice on me this time!)

Posted by Shiro Hosojima @ 12:49 AM

Read or Post a Comment

Hello Everyone, my name is Jenn and I live in the mountains of Colorado, where I work in the ski/snowboard industry. My undergrad was in Environmental Studies and Geography. Currently, I am also interning for Natural Capitalism Solutions, a company which assists businesses and communities with finding more "green", yet profitable ways, in which to reach their goals.

I'd like to thank Shiro for inviting me to this blog. I am very excited to learn from it and everyone involved.

So Kimonos...I did not know so much about them before this blog. I was, however, fortunate enough to wear one when I visited Japan last fall. I can't think of any piece of US clothing that has such a long and elegant history of reuse. Besides the popular thrift and second-hand stores in the US, the only recycled clothing I can think of are the old cloth diapers from my infanthood. These used to get washed, rather than disposed of, and eventually they became rags for washing cars.

As far as modern day clothing recycling, one company that has eco-friendly programs for some of their clothing is Patagonia. They take worn out thermal layers and recyle them into new ones. Check out this link for more info:

Posted by Blogger CO jenn @ 6:28 PM #

Thanks for the comment Jenn!

=old cloth diapers
wow, I actually never heard about that. It is really interesting that used diapers it became rags for washing cars! It shows the US and Japan has short paper diaper history (paper diapers were introduced in 1960's).

I am big fan of Patagonia!
Patagonia is famous for their environmental activism called,"1% for the planet".

Patagonia joined Eco-Products Exhibition last year(2005). Their booth had a recycling box for "worned out capilene based product". Like the URL Jenn has left us, Patagonia is really focused on making worn out product into new ones. I am really hoping for other manufacturing company to learn from Patagonia's business ethic.

The only problem for me is, Patagonia price here in Japan is double compared to states! (Aww
I miss Patagonia outlet in Salt Lake City!)

Posted by Blogger Shiro Hosojima @ 9:20 PM #

Hi. My name is Matt and I live in in Salt Lake City. I am currently at the University of Utah persuing a degree in Geography and Urban Planning.

Like Jenn said, I dont think there is anything in western culture that can rival a the history of a kimono or something that gets reused in such creative ways. The only thing i can think of is jeans. they have been around forever, and they can be patched, used to make blankets, pillows, bags and all sorts of things.

Other than Patagonia, I think my favorite eco-minded company is prana. Their emphasis on the use of organic materials and their push to use wind power in their retail stores is much needed.

Posted by Blogger Matt @ 12:02 PM #

Thanks for the comment Matt!

=jeans. they have been around forever, and they can be patched, used to make blankets, pillows, bags and all sorts of things.

Yes! As many of you know, Japanese are also big fan of American Jeans. I remember I used to wear jeans that had a American flag patched on the side. In Japan, Levi's had several recycling campaign involving many young people.

I have several of their product in the past, but I did not have their information regarding the issues of environmental ethics/awareness.
At their site, I was fascinated with their future goals!
Little by little, I am hoping to see increase in Corporation purchasing green energy like PrAna!

In Japan, there is clothing company named "Uniqlo".
Uniqlo is loved by its low price,looks, and having high quality of material. Recently, Uniqlo has involved in recycling material and preserving environment project.

"fleece recycle compaign"

"planting Olive trees"

please check it out.

Posted by Anonymous shiro @ 10:34 PM #

I have received a comment from Dr. Moiseev. Dr. Moiseev has kindly made an online-discussion page!

Please check out his comments, and I will also make Link to Dr. Moiseev's page!

Thank You Dr.Moiseev

Posted by Anonymous Shiro @ 10:41 PM #

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lolikneri havaqatsu

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous @ 4:29 PM #
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