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"NEW RECYCLE" calls forth ideas with Mottainai spirit


President Mr. Masamichi Toyama in “PASS THE BATON Omotesando” (Photo by JUNKO YODA)
Dazzling accessories, clothes and ornaments-all made from recycled materials. This high-fashion speciality shop, PASS THE BATON, is located in Omotesando Street stretching down from Harajuku station.

Among the high-end stores located in the area, PASS THE BATON is quite unique. In the words of the owner Mr. Masamichi Toyama, the shop practices “magic” by transforming dead stock and waste material into stylish products in collaboration with top designers. He calls the concept “NEW RECYCLE”.

This year PASS THE BATON has started a competition to invite more people to join their “magical” business. “10000 creators meet PASS THE BATON” started in April 2013 with and called innovators all over the world to put “spells” on waste material.
Japanese traditional long underwear Momohiki
Each month a new project is released showing which material should be recycled. For instance, Project vol.3 breathes new life into Japanese traditional long underwear, which is recently unpopular among the younger generation. Participants submit their proposals by following the project guidelines and the winner’s will be manufactured then sold in the store.

Toyama expects not only to bring more people to NEW RECYCLE, but also to see “the fermentation of different ideas” throughout the competition.

Mixing different viewpoints could produce new values, which we have never imagined. French, for instance, calls a Japanese old bowl “art”, though locals call it rubbish. Let’s get diversity “fermented” and create something new together like cheese or Natto*.” International participants with Mottainai* spirit are highly welcome.

He also comments that “recycling should not be special any more. It should be the standard way of living”.

    “10000 creators meet PASS THE BATON”

*Application is now closed and winning proposals will be announced soon.

  • Natto: A traditional Japanese food made from soybeans fermented with Bacillus subtilis.
  • Mottainai: A traditional Japanese idea not to waste anything.

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    [Text: Hayase Yamagishi]