Sunday, October 24, 2010

Konichiwa, eco-fashion

By Fidan Karimova

Japan is known worldwide as one of the top countries for innovation. They have bullet trains, solar powered electronics, progressive goods packaging, and the list goes on. On a trip to Japan in May of 2010, I got to thinking about advances in Japanese fashion.

Walking down Shibuya, a district in Tokyo and the fashion center of Japan, you feel as if you have gone back in time to the Rococo and Victorian periods. The people are dressed in what is called the Lolita style, in other words poufy skirts, petticoats, blouses, knee high socks, stockings and platform shoes. To top off the look, umbrellas and bonnets are usually added to the mix. It was clear that blast from the past was a popular trend, but what about forward thinking (sustainable fashion?). Japan does not lag far in that area either. In 2010, 39 out of 316 companies on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index were Japanese (Click here for more details). One such company was Teijin.

Teijin has been in operation since 1992. The company’s fiber division is works on creating environmentally-friendly materials. An example of one of its innovative methods is carbon neutral materials, which do not produce carbon dioxide throughout the whole production process, since the plants absorb the carbon dioxide through photosynthesis Tejin Fiber - impressive to say the least! Japan justly stays true to its position as a top innovator and will likely expand its reign into the eco arena.

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