Sunday, March 30, 2008

Ochiwata-fukin by Muji

Last year, Muji (Mujirushi-Ryohin) introduced kitchen cloths made by waste cotton from manufacturing process.

It is called "ochiwata"(I think it means the cotton ends up on the floor during yarning process) "fukin"(kitchen cloths). It is manufactured in Bangladesh at the factory that yarns the cotton in a very traditional way.

Cotton manufacturing had been practised for long time in the region. The product (textile) is purely simple, but suited the humide climate. Unfortunately however, it is increasingly replaced by modern mmanufacturing system and the old style cotton production has become almost extinct.

Muji contracted one of these few surviving traditional manufactures that also make use of waste cotton. Muji's website shows (Japanese, but a lot of pictures) the manufacturing process for ochiwata-fukin. It is interesting to learn the process; what is waste cotton, how it needs to be mixed with virgin material to be yarned, how the final product looks like.

Despite the nature of the product (there is nothing fancy with kitchen cloths), Ochiwata-fukin was a hit! It sold very fast.

What strikes me with this case is that the consumers these days are buying the story behind the product. The story that is as compelling and inspiring as the product itself.

Reminds me of Patagonia.

Photo: Mujirushirohin

1 comment:

Martta said...

Hello! I'm a student of environmental biology and economy from Finland. I would like to know more about Muji because I'm writing a thesis of Muji's corporate social responsibility. From Muji's english website I found only vague information or detailed stories like this one about kitchen clothes. Do you happen to know where could I find more accurate information of Muji's environmental, social and economical responsibility. How do they measure the effects etc. If you have answer to my question I would be very grateful to hear it. I really like your blog! Martta