I have always been fascinated with the unique practices and customs of various cultures other than my own. When doing some research on ways that other societies help to reduce waste I ran across an article that focused on the ancient art of the furoshiki and was inspired to learn more about this amazing practice. Fu-ro-shiki literally translated means; furo (bath) and shiki (spread), which was coined in the Edo period (1615-1868) when the public bath (sento) became popular. People would carry their change of clothes and bathing articles wrapped in the furoshiki, and then spread it out onto the floor to change their clothes on. The Japanese would then go on to use the item to display merchandise when selling as well as gift wrapping and for carrying groceries. This tradition has been phased out and replaced with more fashionable purses or green grocery bags which are considered trendier.
As someone who already had an interest in sewing and creative crafts as well as a passion for green product development, the furoshiki fell right into my lap! I knew that I should at least try to develop this product and revive it so that todays culture, both foreign and domestic might find an interest in this practice. Since going green has become so trendy I thought that combining its practical use with fashion forward designs for the fabric that I could create an eco-friendly product that made even the most posh people turn green!
Nara, the companys name which came from a location in Japan, is my portion to helping the environment and helping to reduce waste. From a reusable green grocery bag to reusable gift wrap people can twist and tie their cloth into many different items. I hope that the practice catches on and becomes a new trend that will aid in the reduction of waste. Keep an eye out for cloths being used as purses, totes, grocery bags and gift wrap!
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