We introduced this topic once before on Setouchi Finder, but did you know that Okayama (Kojima) is where it all started for Japanese jeans?
Dotted with jeans shops, the Kojima town area has a street called Jeans Street [https://setouchifinder.com/en/detail/544].
Focusing on these Setouchi area jeans, a rather interesting project is currently under way. The venture project “Every Denim” is being led by Mr. Shunsuke Shimada, an Okayama University student.
In March 2015, Mr. Shimada participated in the GSC Tokyo Start-up Challenge Camp organized by Coca Cola Japan in cooperation with Global Shapers Community, the association for young entrepreneurs within the World Economic Forum, and from around 1000 participants, he was the one who received the top prize – Quite the amazing university student cum entrepreneur!
Abundant with many larger manufacturers, and a myriad of small workshops, the town areas of Okayama have thrived on the production of jeans.
However, subcontractors rarely have the chance to create what they themselves would actually really like to make, and in recent years, due to intense price competition, many workshops are in crises. But by directly connecting such workshops with consumers, Mr. Shimada’s EVERY DENIM is a service that was created to solve this issue within the Setouchi denim industry.
On its website, EVERY DENIM proposes products (jeans) that the workshops want to make, collects orders, and if the minimum number necessary for viable production is reached, production begins and the jeans are sold and delivered to the people who ordered them.
This is the first batch of products.
After being dyed with indigo, the fabric is dyed again with red iron oxide before going through a process to give it a ‘used look’. (Widely produced in Okayama for use in dyes, red iron oxide is found in soil.)
Collecting investors through crowdfunding, they doubled their goal amount by around 2 million yen!
Crowdfunding has finished, but the challenge has just started for Mr. Shimada and his comrades. From January 2016, they plan on gathering new orders for new products with the motto “Setouchi kara Sekai he” (‘From Setouchi to the World’).
If you register your e-mail address, you will receive more information. Do check out their homepage below, if you’re interested.
Jeans created in the Seto Inland Sea region have received high praise even outside Japan. Among those, EVERY DENIM is one to keep a close eye on as it is filled with ambition and originality.
EVERY DENIM HP: http://everydenim.com/ (Japanese)
Setouchi Finder Photo-writers: Katsutoshi Asai/ Asami Asai (Kokohore Japan)
Katsutoshi Asai Producer and member of the Setouchi Regional Revitalization Association. Born in Yokohama in 1974, Katsutoshi is married and has a young son. Although he started his career with an advertising agency, he went to join the Tower Records team. Katsutoshi was involved with brand management, sales campaigns, collaboration work, and live events. Through his career, he experienced being the Sales Promotion Manager, and the Manager of the Live Entertainment Department. However, in 2012, Katsuyoshi retired from Tower Records and moved to Seto city, Okayama prefecture - a place where he had no prior friends, connections or relatives. Soon after moving, he joined the Setouchi Regional Revitalization Association, and in July 2013 founded Kokohore Japan and began a number of projects to re-task old traditional buildings, invent new specialty products, and work on regional branding. Website: Kokohore Japan http://kkhr.jp/ Asami Asai Editor & Writer I mainly write about social news, music, and lifestyles. I was born and raised in Tokyo, but in 2012 I decided on a whim to move to Setouchi City, Okayama Prefecture. I contribute to magazines such as Liniere, Inakagurashi no Hon, and ku:nel. I publish books for my 'interesting' friends, too, and direct and write for programs at FM Okayama. Everyday I write about people and things for both readers and listeners. Website: Kokohore Japan http://kkhr.jp/
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