Space produced by traditional craft, discarded kimono tuned into art panels, attracts inbound visitors.

Inbound consumption has been gaining expectations since deregulation began to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. As with Japanese food, foreign guests have high expectations for traditional Japanese crafts. “Kimonos”, in particular, are popular and well-known around the world for their unique colors and delicate patterns, and kimono rental and dressing services are thriving.

On the other hand, about 700 million kimonos and obis are said to be lying unused in Japanese households. Because they are never worn, are difficult to care for, and require storage space, an increasing number of households are discarding them instead of passing them on to the next generation.

Marketing consulting firm “bonobo LLC.” operates “i-kasu”, a business that upcycles antique kimonos and obis. The company is currently running a pre-order service to process kimonos and obis into interior art panels on the crowdfunding site CAMPFIRE until January 20, 2023.

In this project, supporters send kimono they no longer wear to i-kasu, which processes them into interior art panels at a special price. There is also an option to provide i-kasu with surplus fabric after the panels are made, and all funds raised will be used for activities (materials and shipping costs) to promote kimono culture in Japan and abroad. In addition, the actual works can be viewed at the beta βOOSTER STUDIO on the 1st floor of Shibuya PARCO until January 20.

i-kasu rescues kimonos and obis based on the idea that kimonos and obis are not just clothes, but also precious memories of their owners, wonderful works of art by kimono artists, and traditional culture that Japan is proud of. The company exhibits and sells rescued kimonos and obis in Japan and abroad as upcycled interior items to give them a second life. Kimonos and obis are carefully processed down to the lining, aiming for “zero waste” and “zero discarded kimonos”.

i-kasu’s interior art panels are also available at the official online store, and come in a wide variety of designs, from traditional Japanese to modern. They are available in a wide range of sizes, so they can be coordinated to match the atmosphere and size of restaurants and hotel guest rooms. In addition to the sustainable point of making effective use of kimono and obi fabrics that have outlived their usefulness as clothing, the “traditional Japanese crafts” are sure to be appreciated by foreign guests as a way of creating space.

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[Reference site] A Second Life for Kimono! Japan’s SDGs by foreigners “Project to revitalize kimono by turning them into art panels” Crowdfunding until January 20, 2023
[Reference site] CAMPFIRE: Giving Kimonos a Second Life! Project to revitalize kimonos sleeping in wardrobes by turning them into art panels

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