Mass Consumption of Refashioned Clothes

Torrington Square Bloomsbury London

Wednesday, January 9 2019 from 06:00 pm to 08:00 pm

'Mass Consumption of Refashioned Clothes: Re-dyed Kimono in Post-war Japan' by Prof Miki Sugiura (Hosei University)

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Among the strategies of post-consumer textile waste management, refashioning or the makeover of used clothes is gaining attention as value added recycling. However, refashioning business is considered as being possible only on a small scale. This article presents a case of its mass scale operation and clarifies the factors that enabled it. From the 1920s to the 1960s, re-dyeing played an indispensable role in Kyoto maintaining its central position in dyed kimono production. This study clarifies how the coordinators of re-dyeing and makeover, the shikkai, established a MTO (make to order) network, forming direct and recurrent ties with customers nationwide.

Miki Sugiura is Professor of Global Economic History at Hosei University and is currently visiting a professor at the University of Warwick, Centre for Global History and Culture (2018-19). Her main interest is the mechanisms for circulation and mobilization of goods and people in urban societies. Since 2014, she has focused on the circulation of cloth and clothing and is organising the research platform ‘Linking Cloth-Clothing Globally’. She is senior member of Global History Collaborative, organised by Professor Haneda Masashi at the University of Tokyo. Currently, she is preparing a book that considers second-hand clothing circulation from a global perspective.