Interest in sustainable fashion has been growing in recent years. It has come a long way from being a niche interest to a mainstream one. And yet, even with the increased attention, truly sustainable fashion brands are still a challenge to find. But worry not, we’re here to help. If you’re on the hunt for new pieces and want to go the sustainable route (or expand your sustainable fashion directory), you might want to check out these sustainable Japanese fashion brands.
I Was A Kimono
Most kimonos are pieces of excellent craftsmanship, but even the most well-made kimono can deteriorate over time. Since it would be a waste to just discard a piece that’s made from quality materials, I Was A Kimono upcycles the textile and gives it a new life by transforming it into new fashion items like stylish masks, bag charms, hair bands, and earrings. Aside from that, some kimono textiles are also used in home decor items as trimmings.
What We Love: These kimono vintage masks with unique designs (JPY1,800-3,200/~USD 17-30). Some of the pieces are even made with luxurious upcycled silk kimono textile which is said to be more comfortable on the skin.
Named after the Japanese word that means “eternity” or “everlasting”, KUON’s ethos as a brand revolves around creating beautiful things that will stand the test of time. To achieve this, they’ve partnered with local artisans that are familiar with intricate clothing techniques. Their Sakiori fabric (old torned fabric pieces weaved together) is made in collaboration with differently abled people and they also partnered with Otsuchi Sashiko Project to upcycle Boro fabrics (patchwork) with Sashiko technique (ancient Japanese hand sewing technique to make geometric patterns). If you’re curious to know more about their sustainable practices, you can check out the details — including the wages paid — here.
What We Love: These ICHIMATSU Pajama Pants (JPY27,500/~USD251) that feature chic checkered patterns. The relaxed yet snug fit is perfect for lounging at home yet the design is polished enough that you don’t need to change if you have a surprise visitor or need to do a quick errand outside. It can also be a great cover-up for beach trips.