Welcoming you as you walk into the MUJI’s fifth avenue flagship store is the newly launched Iroiro No Fuku (Various Clothing) sustainable collection, MUJI and IDÉE’s first POOL collaborative project in the United States. Supervised by Japanese designer Akira Minagawa (who founded the Japanese fashion brand minä perhonen), this collection is exclusively made out of recycled MUJI textiles.
Created by MUJI’s sister lifestyle brand IDÉE in 2015 in Tokyo, POOL is a series of ongoing sustainable projects created in collaboration with various designers and companies. For this project with Minagawa, the apparel was made entirely of natural MUJI fabrics dyed in vibrant hues. Pieces of defected or stained fabrics were then infused with rich dyes forming the hallmark colors of the collection that includes blouses, jumpsuits, dresses, wide-leg pants, unisex coats, scarfs, bags, and handkerchiefs all made from recycled bed linens.
Using fabric waste to produce new goods is not a novel practice. Better known as “circular design,” many companies now engage in this process of collecting and using fabric waste and defective products. However, the POOL collaboration concept offers a new kind of conscious and responsible thinking, while keeping creativity and high-quality as top core values.
While gathering all the unwanted fabric, “our main challenge was to take a look at the shape of those wasted pieces [of fabric] and decide what we could do with those … These pieces of textiles were also not designed for clothing originally, so we had to think about how to create lovable pieces of clothing from unwanted fabric,” said Minagawa.
Not only thinking about how repurpose fabric waste, Minagawa was concerned about MUJI’s workforce. “Giving a new life to these unwanted pieces is also a way to reduce the waste in people’s labor and all the work that was put in manufacturing these objects.” When asked what his main source of inspiration for the collection was, he cheerfully responded, “Everyday people!”