Recycled Clothing Revolution

18 Aug

Recycled Clothing Revolution
30/JAN/2010 on air

This episode is continued from previous one.

Wealthy madams are invited to the private fashion show of remodeled dresses and this kind of show is now available at international cities such as London, Hong Kong or Sydney. It was 2 Japanese people who started it.
Some department stores started to invite second hand clothes store such as RAG TAG, which is considered pretty unusual because department store normally is the place that sells the latest novelty.

RAG TAG also modifies the old clothes brought by their customers and remodel it into a bag and sell it for 42,000-57,750yen. 21 bags were sold in 2 months.

So what happened to the eco products that Beni-chan and Mr. Ikki are making?
(continued from the previous episode “Cool Eco Products“.)

DonDonDown is a revolutionary old clothes shop. Within 5 years since its opening, it has opened 32 stores in Japan and its annual sales are 900 million yen in 2009. What makes this old clothes shop revolutionary is that it has groundbreaking system that no other old clothes shop do.
It’s the vege tags. Each vegetable means the price and it’s cut down 1000yen every Wednesday until finally it’s priced 100yen.

It’s the shoppers who decide if they should wait until next Wednesday to get the item 1000yen cheaper or they should buy it now. If they wait, the item can be taken by someone else. This system is just like a game and customers love it. It was formulated by Okamoto-san, the president of the company.

Okamoto-san started to work as an old clothes buyer at flea markets in the U.S when he was 18. At the age of 23, he opened a vintage clothing store in Tokyo but his problem was that he had too much of dead stock. After all he had to close down 12 stores he had. From over 10 years struggle, he created this system that the price decreases 1000yen once every week. This system was good enough to stimulate consumer appetite. “Customers don’t buy things unless they are motivated,” says Okamoto-san. This system helped resolve the dead stock problem and turnover rate increased by 100%.

“Every piece of 2nd hand clothes is unique. There’s nothing identical. It depends on each person how he or she evaluates the item. They buy it at the timing when they find value on it. As it turns out, not many items wait to be priced for 100yen. Second hand clothes market in Japan has increased quadruple in the past 10 years. Okamoto-san’s company had 30 employees at the institution, which has increased up to 174 employees today.

There are people who visit this store every Wednesday and buy only 100yen clothes. This couple lives in a 6 mats apartment house together. The boyfriend has experienced remodeling old clothes for 4 years. He sells modified clothes at online auction and when he does it better, he earns 260,000yen from this work in one month. The girlfriend also gives him some good opinions. They dream to have a shop in the future.

Kouenji is the district for second hand clothes. Some gyaru girls who are not satisfied with Shibuya or Harajuku fashion come over to Kouenji to shop old clothes.
NINCOMPOOP CAPACITY is especially supported by Gyaru type of girls. Cathy-san, the designer of the store makes clothes from second hand clothes or fabric that she collected from flea market. She doesn’t even use scissors and dress pattern. It’s her inspiration that she needs.

Oh la la is European old clothes shop. Customers bring their clothes to the owner of the store to modify it.
Surprisingly, she threads into the holes that were opened and does not open a new hole at modification.

Eco accessories Beni-chan and Sugimoto-san created from rubbish were highly evaluated by the logistic center and Mr. Masuda, who has been a member of Good Design Award jury for over 20 years, gave them 100/100 scores. The eco furniture made by Mr. Ikki and 3 students was not finished well in a limited time. It was remade into better looking furniture a couple of days later.

Kirin’s opinion;
Rag Tag’s remodeled bags are cute, but they are too expensive!! Dondondown looks interesting. I’d love to go there but it looks that most of the stores are located away from central area. I guess I can check out the one in Shimokitazawa… :p I am not interested in vintage clothes. I don’t feel like paying a lot of money for recycled clothes. But it’s not that I can accept bad quality, either. Usually I end up buying new clothes because old clothes in Japan are often priced nearly as much as new ones. I’m not talking about vintage stuff, of course. Ah~ here again I regret being incapable of sewing! I should’ve learned it well when I had plenty of time. (>_<)

Disclaimer: Tokyo Kawaii TV is a TV program owned and broadcasted by NHK Japan, and has nothing to do with this blog.

***There are archives of episodes listed under the page titled "Tokyo Kawaii TV” that is just located under the title banner of this blog.
***If you want to know the music that was used in the episode, please refer to this page and help yourself to find it by selecting the date when the episode was on air in Japan.

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7 Responses to “Recycled Clothing Revolution”

  1. Emily August 18, 2010 at 1:13 pm #

    I really enjoyed your other post as well 🙂 I prefer my clothes to be of natural material and inexpensive. I have a habit of reconstructing my clothes from old Tshirts, adding things to my existing stuff, etc. It's really crappy that upcycled clothes are the same price as new ones! I hope you guys have good thrift stores over there!! lol

    • kirin August 19, 2010 at 8:53 am #

      I like your habit, that's one of the things I definitely would enjoy a lot myself. I need to create my free time to try that and learn Spanish and how to play the Kantere, and travel other countries…so many things I want to do. >_< I want my free time~~.

  2. Apple August 19, 2010 at 11:52 am #

    This is a very interesting episode! ^^

    I also find it crappy that upcycled clothes are as expensive as new ones! That's why the 2nd-hand fashion that is so hot in Tokyo now doesn't really attract me. I can buy and wear new clothes cheaper! Haha! But I do like to go to Wego and Hanjiro to have a look. -_-" Haha! I'm contradicting myself, right?

    • kirin August 23, 2010 at 3:30 am #

      Haha, I sometimes like to look around second hand clothes but most of the time I end up with buying nothing because the price is not that cheap. Sometimes new clothes can be cheaper, even if the used clothes is not anything vintage.
      It'll be when I start remodelling clothes that I buy some cheap used clothes. ^ ^;

  3. Sharon August 20, 2010 at 2:58 pm #

    i heard that vintage clothing used to be really cheap until everyone suddenly goes for vintage and the prices (of coz) hike.

    "old clothes in Japan are often priced nearly as much as new ones" ??!!! how is that so? how can THAT be?! unless it is of some reputable brand then thats another story, even so, it should be at least around half the price down since its old.

    • kirin August 23, 2010 at 3:35 am #

      Yes, I'm saying even if it's not a vintage piece of clothes, it costs nearly as much as new clothes. Of course it depends on store, but I guess that's because used clothes may need more human works by Japanese workers, which eventually costs more than importing new clothes from China, for example.

  4. Made with Japan January 18, 2011 at 11:03 am #

    We did a interview with Nincompoop Capacity who is mentioned in this article, if anyone's interested!
    http://www.madewithjapan.com/news/2010/mwj-meets-

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