Mori Yumi remakes old clothes with a sense of humor. And she's using her special flair to upcycle tents. Display models or those damaged in shipping must be disposed of, and Mori uses material from such tents to make bags and even jackets. Her designs take advantage of tents' durability and water resistance, but also their unique design elements to create something truly fashionable. To tell the truth, waste reduction isn't really Mori's goal, she simply loves making things.
Since ancient times, the Japanese have believed that a life force resides in all creations.
Valuing and caring for the things we use, a "Zero Waste Life."
Pointing the way to better living for a new era.
Making things makes me happy.
There's joy in making something new
while knowing it's also reducing waste.
I want to share that joy with everyone.
A street corner in a residential area just nearby Shibuya, Tokyo.
It's the atelier of fashion designer, Mori Yumi.
All the clothes are creative to say the least.
Here's a recent addition to the collection.
Everybody thinks it's pretty interesting.
It's made from two shirts sewn together.
There's a red neck and a blue one.
And there's a hidden neck between them.
It's a shirt with a real sense of humor.
It's all made with used clothing.
I've always liked old clothes.
They're thrown out unconsciously,
but there's lots of good stuff if you look.
I think about cute combinations,
and I have lots of other ideas.
Making things with them is fun.
She's currently putting her unique sensibility to use on a new project.
Ones that were used as display models or simply went unsold and disposed of.
Mori uses material from the discarded tents to create rather quirky fashion items.
This tent fabric makes a nice sound.
Totally different from ordinary material.
I love how the scissors slide through it.
To Mori, tents are ideal for remaking into clothing.
But the toughness of the fabric isn't their only attractive feature.
Lots of things become features
when incorporated into a design.
There are so many details, like mesh,
or straps, and printed images too.
Or zipper sliders; I can use them,
so I grab as many as I can.
Using these special qualities, she'll create...
A jacket and pants set.
I think they'd make a sharp suit.
With the final image in mind, she cuts the rough outline.
Each completed piece has a unique face.
Cutting freehand like this is hard,
but the results make the process fun.
As a designer, Mori worked for major apparel makers on the cutting edge of fashion for 20 years.
But she eventually became conflicted regarding her chosen profession.
You enter the fashion system,
make trendy products...
Mass production for mass consumption.
Then there's a sale. The annual cycle.
Not just of how things are made,
I was tired of the entire fashion cycle.
She quit her job and launched a totally new brand.
One entirely based on upcycling.
Unusual designs featuring traditional embroidery.
In her genderless, borderless and seasonless designs, she insists on making things that are one-of-a-kind.
I wasn't interested in the same old thing.
I wanted a new sense of values,
to shape a new kind of future.
Her original approach to making clothing attracted the attention of Matsuoka Yoshiyuki.
Matsuoka heads a project to repurpose outdoor equipment disposed of for various reasons to reduce its environmental impact.
To stop harm and coexist with nature,
that's the idea.
So, torn or damaged items,
or items with packaging issues...
we find a way to repurpose them
instead of letting them go to waste.
Tuning tents into fashion items seemed a perfect fit, so he asked for Mori's expert help.
It was a great idea, something
I could do to help make a difference.
Matsuoka handles the planning and Mori oversees design.
Their first co-creations were bags.
Water resistance keeps the insides dry.
It's a handy feature.
Bags were a good start, a good use
of the material's properties.
If we both agree, and we usually do...
- Then we're confident moving forward.
Their next designs were a skirt incorporating tent parts as-is...
...fun rainwear combining fabrics from multiple tents, and a sleeping bag vest...
...interior design items like lighting...
...and even a covered wagon, all contributing to the creation of their unique world.
Mori has brought the tent fabric she cut out back to her studio and gets to work sewing.
Turn it inside out and that's one sleeve.
It's for a man, so it's a bit big on me.
I always piece it together as I go
to create the right look.
Maybe this color goes better here...
That sort of thing.
And I recut as I make them too.
A tent once headed for the rubbish heap, now a one-of-a-kind suit.
A stylish color combination, making use of the tent's original stitching.
Other tent components become stylish accents.
This suit is a true original, and thanks to the base material, it's also waterproof.
The qualities of the fabric, make it
easy to shape, no need for ironing.
That's one reason it looks so cool.
- I'm not sure if it's your size.
It's really good. Super cool!
I like the natural colors.
It's easy to wear.
- Yes, it is light.
- I'm very pleased.
- It's amazing.
Makes me want to go camping...
An event held at a marketplace for outdoor products.
A hands-on upcycling workshop.
Mori is teaching participants how to make bags from discarded tents.
1, 2, 3, okay, let go, and again.
Just like a pro!
Ah, I got a little carried away.
She's made herself a lovely shopping bag.
Tents are sturdy and light,
they make great shopping bags.
It looks good, the color is nice too.
That makes it even cooler.
There's humor in the things I make.
My one-of-a-kind designs,
always find the right person.
And that's really wonderful.
It's why I love making things.