Japanese apparel firms give new life to their old clothes

Firms in Japan's fashion industry are increasingly making efforts to reduce waste by reselling used clothes of their own brand that are in good-enough condition.

One of them, Sanyo Shokai, started selling secondhand apparel in Tokyo from Friday.

The company collects clothes that customers brought to its outlets or department stores in exchange for a coupon worth 500 yen, or about 3 dollars, per item.

Staff check the fabric for any frays or discoloration and iron the items before reselling. Sanyo Shokai says its repurposed goods meet its quality standards.

Sanyo Shokai Senior Executive Managing Officer Matsuo Minehide said, "The most important thing for us is taking the initiative in contributing to the cycle of resources through the reuse of clothing."

Apparel giant Uniqlo has already been recycling materials from old items of its brand that it has collected. Now it is also reselling used clothes, initially on a trial basis.

The company is either offering them at a low price, or redying them to sell for roughly the same as new products.