KOJIMA Eco Collection 2007

Kojima, a town known for its textile industry, has an enormous amount of textile scraps that are disposed of as waste every day. Our project is to produce a Collection that can be introduced to the world using these materials. We wanted a Collection that would take into account ecology and consisting of unisex clothes that are free from size restrictions, which can be worn by anybody. Such was the task we set about along with Koji Kano of Sunflower who is known for announcing a series of unique collections in Kojima.

Gathering MaterialMeetingBagCutting & Sewing

01:Gathering Material

We began from gathering material. Most cloth scraps from manufacturers and sewing factories are handed down to waste collectors. We approached, without much hope, Akashi Hifuku Kogyo and Takeyari Hanpu to provide us with scraps. The companies readily agreed to our request after learning our intentions. jersey scraps and two kinds of canvases. Together with several types of denim scraps Mr. Kano got hold of, enough material was gathered. It went surprisingly smooth as might be expected of Kojima, the town of textile.

02:Meeting

A meeting was held with Mr. Kano examining all the material that was collected. The theme is creating universal sized clothing that can be worn by anyone leaving minimum scraps from the ecological friendly point of view. However, it is difficult making clothing of one size fit various figures. Since adopting designs in trend was also impossible, we settled on a "Japanese" design such as a Kimono or a Samue. Though, at this point, I had no idea what to expect.

03:Bag

A bag was sitting in front of me. It was two weeks from our last meeting. "What in the world is this doing here... ? " This actually was Mr. Kano's style. He specializes in remaking clothes using military material and his creations are often inspired by bags. He had made nine bags out of denim and canvas this time. Each had numbers and letters stenciled on and each with a different finish. Now what on earth is coming out of these bags?

04:Cutting & Sewing

With the design and pattern decided, it was time for cutting. According to Mr. Kano, bags of this design turn into one piece of cloth when disassembled, making pattern layout easy. Leaving the clasps and details left to use, the patterns are set and the fabric is cut. Scraps are kept minimum, of course. It is nearly completed. Sewing is going well, and staffs at Sunflower are lending us their hand. It is rapidly forming its shape.

The motif was taken from a "noragi" or working clothes that was often seen worn by Japanese farm workers. The top is an easy to wear sleeveless jacket with room around the arms. A rope that was used on the bag is also worn around the waist. This rope could be freely arranged for various looks and can also be removed. The waist of the pants is also adjustable with a rope using the buckle that was on the bag. This top and bottom ensemble comes in denim and canvas. Canvas that comes in the same design is a refreshing white color with a decorative touch added by buttons of various designs sewn on the midsection. We pay our respect to Mr. Kano's talent which has realized both recycling and universal design at the same time.

0,
KOJIMA Eco Collection 2007 Moreover, this is what we made out of the leftover scrap fabric

Cutting leaves scrap fabric. While the quantity was very small, being titled KOJIMA Eco Collection, it could not be left unnoticed. From this point, an effort to bring the recycled amount of material to 99% of the original began. Mr. Hitoshi Fujita, a freelance tailor, was chosen for the job. Please enjoy the unique talent of a creator that Kojima takes pride in.

hat
_Hitoshi Fujita

Mr. Fujita created a flat cap and two types of tulip hats with different brim widths. The cap and hats are made of scrap fabric lined with jersey provided by Akashi Hifuku Kogyo. The jersey material absorbs water and is soil-resistant, so there is less need to worry about make-up smears.

Three months since I came in face to face with ecology through my involvement with this program. Being present at the scene of remaking and using recycled material has given me, who had always given priority to “convenience” and “appearance”, an opportunity to look at ecology under a new light. Creators who bring their ideas into form using limited material putting quantity and efficiency aside. The hint leading to ecology was hidden in the wish of such a creator to treasure what is already there instead of pursuing the new. Scrap and leftover fabric reborn one after another. I felt the potentials of ecology while excited by this site. Trying out the finished clothes filled my heart with contentment. Ecology has grown definitely closer to me now. (Ayumi Takata / KJ Eitor's School)