Trendy organic in Tokyo


Organic food is becoming increasingly trendy in Japan, reaching into the mainstream. It is also becoming fashionable, in that special Japanese way: When will we see organic Louis Vuitton bags...? Some might argue that it is moving too far away from the compost heap.

This weekend, Takako Okamura will hold a workshop at Aveda Pure Cafe in fancy Minami Aoyama. Cost: 6,000 Yen (including ingredients, drinks and an organic gift). What caught my eye is that it is produced by Juliette, an agency that does very stylish projects for major magazines such as Frau and Spur. Emi Kanda's Tokyo Editor's Life is lovely blog with many photos from France. Simply beautiful.

To nourish body as well as spirit, Aveda offers the Pure Cafe, serving soups, sandwiches and salads prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients that have been organically grown. And to help eliminate waste, the Pure Cafe avoids using disposable dishware, encourages customers to use refillable coffee cups, and offers a lunch bag—made of organic cotton—to replace paper bags.

Takako Okamura is also invloved in another project, called Organic Consierge Voice, where she introduces the latest fashion trends and products. I also like that she explains eco-labels that are not always obvious, such as the Japanese energy efficieny mark. On her website, she also introduces work by other people, such as photography by Mika, a student in Lund, Sweden. It is a small world. Greenstyle is another website with "eco culture"- design ideas for better living, produced by Earth Water & Green Foundation.

As for "trendy" environmental fashion, seems there is slight progress with regards to clothes. For example, in their 2006 Annual Report (pdf), Mitsukoshi, the Ginza department store, mentions that they are "suggesting environment-friendly lifestyles". I can find expensive baby clothes (2 towels, a hat and a pair of socks) for 15,000 Yen, and many other items. Enter オーガニック (organic) as a search term in the box marked キーワード (keyword) on their mail order pages here.

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