Japanese Retailers Bringing New Life into Used Clothes

Economy

Tokyo, Oct. 5 (Jiji Press)--Retailers in Japan, such as department store operators, are breathing new life into secondhand clothing, including through "upcycle" techniques.

They are not simply recycling used clothes, but also turning them into items that look better even than the original. The moves come partly because consumers are increasingly paying attention to whether garments are made in environmentally friendly and sustainable ways.

Major department store operator Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd. <3099> has started a service in which used garments that have become faded are dyed stylish black. For T-shirts, for example, prices start at 2,750 yen, and clothes bought from other stores are also accepted. The company offers the service in cooperation with a long-established business in Kyoto, western Japan, which has been dyeing "kuromontsuki" crested black kimono.

On Wednesday, the company will start sales of products that were colored anew after being displayed at exhibitions, at its flagship Isetan store in Tokyo's Shinjuku district, for a limited time only.

Ryohin Keikaku Co. <7453>, the operator of Muji brand lifestyle goods stores, opened in September a renovated Muji Shinjuku store, which focuses on environmentally friendly products. As part of its features, the store collects clothes it sold in the past, removes frayed or dirty parts, and combines them with other clothing items. Products made in this way are sold as "connected clothes."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press