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Japan startup to sell dresses made from leftover fabrics

Kobe-based coxco wants to highlight waste and mass disposal in apparel industry

It is said that about 5 million tons of fabric are disposed of around the world annually. (Photo courtesy of coxco)

OSAKA -- Kobe-based apparel startup coxco will partner with textile trading house Yagi & Co. to start selling dresses and pullovers made from leftover sample fabrics at warehouses.

Coxco will make dresses and other items using leftover fabrics provided by Yagi & Co. and sell them online. As more young people are taking an interest in how clothes are made, the project is aimed at getting such young people interested in disposal of waste fabrics by apparel makers.

Coxco will sell dresses and pullovers made from leftover sample fabrics aimed at customers in their 20s and 30s. Consumers in that age group often express concern at the large volume of clothes as well as waste fabrics that are regularly dumped.

Due to apparel makers' design changes and a supply glut of fabrics, "about 5 million tons of fabric are disposed of around the world annually," said Ayumi Nishigawa, founder of coxco. Few trading houses are willing to offer fabrics left untouched at their warehouses for fear of tarnishing their corporate image, but Yagi & Co. decided to do so in response to growing environmental awareness.

The clothes made using the sample fabric will be sold by subscription from Sept. 4 to 29 through Makuake, a crowdfunding service company. The clothes will then be sold on coxco's online shopping site.

One-piece dresses made with sample fabric kept in warehouses will be sold for 23,000 yen each, excluding tax.

The prices will be 23,000 yen ($216) for a one-piece dress and 19,000 yen for a pullover, excluding tax. A time-limited shop will also be set up in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward by the end of this month at the earliest.

Coxco was established in 2019 by members of DEAR ME, an incorporated non-profit organization based in Tokyo's Setagaya Ward, which holds fashion shows in the Philippines featuring child models from poor families. The company sells clothing made from recyclable materials.

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