Manicurist Arimoto Naomi makes colorful nail tips. But behind the beautiful patterns is plastic trash from nearby beaches. Fashion-inspired eco-consciousness is her goal. A former care worker, nine years ago, she lost the use of her legs due to illness. Choosing manicures as something she could do with just her hands; she works with the support of her family. Her husband helps collect the plastic, and her two daughters help break it down. Their love makes her creations shine even brighter.
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.
I don't throw things away.
They'll just end up back in the sea.
The city of Chigasaki faces the Pacific.
This woman in her wheelchair runs a nail salon in a residential neighborhood.
Her name is Arimoto Naomi.
She's making colorful nail tips.
Nails are something that you don't
have to look in the mirror to see,
something we're always aware of.
So, I use nail fashion as a way
to inspire eco-consciousness.
Her creations are colorful...
But their most important feature is the material.
Hopefully the sand will be dry...
Today, driven by her husband, Arimoto is heading to a certain location.
Their destination: the local beach.
- Maybe here?
- Here works for you?
These could be shredded
plastic bottle caps.
They seem ridged.
They're colorful so they look pretty,
but it's actually bad that they're here.
Marine plastic that's been washed ashore.
The source of her decorative nail patterns.
It's good to have a variety of colors
to use for different designs.
So, a color like this pink here
is a pretty valuable find.
Arimoto regularly visits the beach to gather plastic trash.
There wasn't very much today,
which is a good thing.
But this stuff is really everywhere.
It feels impossible for one person
to actually make an impact.
The plastic she collects is thoroughly washed.
And once clean, it's left to dry for several days.
She cuts them into smaller pieces.
They're then packed into 5mm rings...
...and pressed with a hot iron.
I'm a bit worried. I hope they're okay.
Ah, the color looks fine.
As the plastic melts, the colors mix, and the new sample pattern is complete.
Sometimes it doesn't melt properly
or won't spread, mistakes happen.
But I can just break them down again,
so I never throw them out.
After preparing the surface, it's applied to the tip of the artificial nail.
A glossy coating is then applied and hardened under LEDs.
The designs are inspired by the sea.
The best part is you can never
make the same thing twice.
It's really a lot of fun.
And I want my clients to see that
beauty can come from marine plastic.
She calls her product line, "Sea Trash Nails."
The designs are diverse, including pieces that use bits of marine plastic as is.
Beyond artificial nails, she also makes a variety of accessories.
A former care worker, she was forced to leave her job 9 years earlier
when severe illness caused the paralysis of her lower body.
I saw my old job as my true calling.
It was very hard to accept...
Unable to move her legs, but able to use her hands, doing nails was a hobby that became a job.
She opened her nail salon in 2018.
Then, three years later, she reached a turning point,
participating in a coastal cleanup project recommended by a friend.
Being in a wheelchair, I never
considered going to the beach.
But they said I could do the cleanup
sitting in just one spot.
I was able to pick up quite a lot.
But it seemed a waste
just to throw it away.
So, I tried to figure out how to use it.
Marine plastic on nails would be a way to raise awareness of environmental issues.
With this, she developed her "Sea Trash Nails."
Here we go.
Support from her family is essential to Arimoto's efforts.
And on his days off, her husband Masato lends a hand when she collects marine plastic.
She can do whatever she wants.
If the wheelchair makes it difficult,
then It's my job to help.
We all support her.
Her two daughters help to break down the plastic.
I like it because it's fun.
Even though it's work,
I can talk to my kids too.
That makes it really enjoyable.
"What do you usually talk about?"
Like playing pretend and laughing.
Come in, hello!
Today, a customer has come in to pick up something she's reserved.
Wow! They really suit you.
I love them!
I'm glad. The color of the microplastic
came out really well this time.
I can't believe plastic can look so nice.
- I think I'll skip the housework today.
- Let your husband take care of it.
All of Arimoto's nails are made-to-order.
Everybody's nails are different,
so readymade ones are hard to fit.
I want clients to be able to wear
them for as long as possible.
So, I adjust each nail one by one.
That's what made-to-order means to me.
Today, at a nearby cafe, an event showcasing social integration for disabled people is being held.
People with disabilities show visitors what they've learned to do.
Arimoto, along with two students she previously taught, is providing nail care services.
Jobs for people with disabilities
are hard to come by.
So, I want to do what I can
to improve things.
Cute! They really suit you.
Really?! I'm so happy!
People in wheelchairs like me can do this.
I want to be a leading manicurist
and help others to learn it.
I really had a wonderful time!
Arimoto hopes to eventually teach her students to make her "Sea Trash Nails."
Environmental issues apply
to people in wheelchairs too.
I want everyone to know we can
contribute to society in many ways.
I don't want people to be amazed
at what I can do as a disabled person,
but to see it as completely natural.