Shall We Enjoy Fashion and Recycling?
April 21, 2022
There are 1.4 million tons of wasted clothes in Japan. Recently, there has been a boom in used clothing in Japan. Buying used clothes could be one of the ways to reduce apparel wastes. The twelfth goal of the Sustainable Development Goals, an agenda for global community set in 2015 by the United Nations, is “the responsibility to make and use.” This article will focus on the responsibility to make and use clothes. However, it is not an easy thing to buy the used clothes only because of the environmental reasons.
There is a Little but Attractive Shop in Tokyo
Why not buy clothes because you truly love them and use them for a long time?
In Setagaya Ward, Tokyo, where Palette editorial team of Showa Women’s University is located, there are many used clothing stores, attracting many young people.
One of such shops is All Yours in Ikejiri, Setagaya Ward. The concept this shop is “you-centered.” When laying out the store’s logo of All Yours, a letter “U” is always arranged in the center in all of their products. At a glance, it seems nothing to do with the SDGs goals.
But when look into their way, you may understand why it is closely related to sustainability. What they value is “not to create a waste of clothing.” Specific efforts include “no sales at the store,” “devising own packaging for shipping,” and “the elimination of price tags.”
All Yours the shop did not choose the conventional way of selling used clothes. Second-hand clothes are after all a waste of clothing. But they stated that even if the clothes are left unsold, they are still no different from new clothes. They make their own brand of clothes and collect them, as well. They repair damaged or out-of-size items, and thoroughly recycle other brands or items that are in too bad condition by shattering them into different pieces.
They also sell what they call “salvage goods.” The original meaning of the word salvage is "to save the lives and cargo of a ship in distress,” which in turn is sometimes used to refer to the “reuse of waste products.” All Yours repairs and cares for the products collected through the “turning” system as needed, and resells them as salvage products.
No Sales at Stores
There might be times when you go to a clothing store and find the customer
service a bit annoying. Many of us have once thought that if we try something on, then we have to buy that item. As a result, you would end up buying clothes that you do not really want. Then you might end up getting rid of them without wearing them at all.
The store in Ikejiri does not push to sell the clothes because they are fully aware of such problems. No sales here. The clerks don't push sales unless you talk to them. If you ask them about the particulars of their products, they will tell you in great detail.Nowadays, during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is even more virtual interaction via e-commerce, but in the end, they said that interaction with people is important in both life and business. There are online sales. It is easy to touch their clothes. They want their customer to understand their products. They would like to have a precious time for their customer. If they sells their products in this store, their customer would feel some pressure. It is difficult to build their close relations. That's why, there was also a space in the store where visitors could write down their recommendations for restaurants.
Devising our own Packaging for Shipping
The company also values the concept of "from an idea to shipping.” They sell original apparel that is easy to care with wrinkle resistance, as well as white shirts that has no transparency. What is even more interesting is that they also develop their own packaging for shipping. In general, packaging is usually done with a lot of plastic bags or too large cardboard boxes. In addition, if the product is to be returned, the buyer would have to re-wrap it by oneself, which would create even more waste. To solve this problem, they developed a bag that completes the packaging and can be used also for returns. Not only do they recycle the clothes themselves, but they also consider the environment around the clothes.
Challenging the elimination of price tags
For the future, they are thinking of eliminating price tags, which are indispensable for sales. Price tags play a very important role when they are on the store shelves, but once they are purchased, they are always discarded. Therefore, All Yours are gradually working on how to eliminate the price tags.
Setagaya---A Destination For Used Clothing
There are many used clothing stores in Setagaya Ward. Because used clothes are environmentally-friendly by nature, Setagaya has become a magnet for many young people in Japan, including those who are highly environmentally conscious. While there are many such stores, the one that loves clothes more than anyone else is All Yours, which takes a thorough approach to the environment surrounding them. If more and more people in Japan choose to buy used clothes not only to enjoy fashion as a pastime, but also to achieve environmental-friendliness, they will have a great impact on the world as the new eco-fashion leaders.