Mr. Koizumi, Minister of the Environment, and Mr. Kanai, Chairman of Ryohin Keikaku, Discuss the Future of Fashion

We wear clothes every day. However, fashion, which lifts our mood and motivates us for the day, is now facing various issues such as massive disposal of excess inventory, water and soil pollution during production, massive CO2 emissions, and the working environment of workers.

Minister of the Ministry of the Environment is focusing on activities to support the transformation of the fashion industry into a sustainable one and pass it on to the next generation. On the other hand, Ryohin Keikaku has been manufacturing products from an environmentally and socially conscious perspective since its establishment. Mr. Koizumi and Mr. Kanai had a conversation about the future of sustainable fashion from their respective perspectives.

The stage for the conversation was MUJI Tokyo Ariake. MUJI Tokyo Ariake is promoting various activities that lead to the recycling of global resources and the reduction of waste, such as the “collection of used clothes” in which unwanted clothes are collected at the store and recycled into raw materials, the “food drive” in which surplus food is collected and delivered to those in need, the “buy in bulk for food items” in which customers can purchase only the amount they need, and the in-store water refilling service that anyone can make use of.

After having an in-store tour about these initiatives, the conversation was held at the model house “MUJI Plain House” in the store. Minister Koizumi talked about the challenges facing the fashion industry, his impressions of observing MUJI's initiatives, his own environmentally conscious actions, the activities and goals promoted by the Ministry of the Environment, and the importance of public-private partnerships. Mr. Kanai shared MUJI's concept and ideas, its approach to product development, the efforts of each store to become a “company where everyone can be prosperous,” the conservation of Satoyama, the utilization of unused resources, cooperation with local governments, and other MUJI activities.

The video of this conversation is now available on the Ministry of the Environment's official YouTube channel.

■Lifestyle Redesign: The Future of Fashion (video in Japanese)