Japan’s first Sustainable Fashion Expo was held from October 18 to 20 at Tokyo Big Sight (Ariake, Koto City, Tokyo), showcasing fashion brands from around the world that prioritize concepts such as “eco-friendly” “recycling”, “ethical”, “fairtrade” and “low-carbon economy”. Okayama University took part in the exhibition as part of its ongoing partnership with un.deux Co., Ltd., (hereafter un.deux).
Earlier this year, on April 22, Okayama University signed a comprehensive agreement with un.deux with the aim of contributing to the achievement of the SDGs through joint research and human resource development focused on ethical fashion. Okayama-based brand un.deux has become a pioneer in ethical fashion, teaming up with Shimamura Co., Ltd., in 2019 to create the first denim product in Japan to acquire "OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100”, an internationally recognized garment certification that verifies a garment is harmless to human health.
Since signing the comprehensive agreement, Okayama University’s newly restructured Innovation Management Core (IMaC), previously known as Open Innovation Organization, has set up various opportunities for cooperation and collaboration. Through these concrete efforts, we have been accumulating science-based evidence on ethical fashion and supporting student-led inquiries on ethical fashion.
At the Sustainable Fashion Expo, we had the chance to spread awareness of our partnership with un.deux. Additionally, the expo served as the perfect venue for exchange between Okayama University Vice Executive Director and University Research Administrator (URA) SATOH Norito, who is stationed at the University's Tokyo Office, and un.deux representatives, including Director NAKAMURA Keita, Director HASE Keiichi, and NOUMI Yusaku from un.deux’s planning department.
Participating in the expo allowed for exciting networking opportunities and provided us with an injection of new ideas that will build on our current activities to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs through ethical fashion. We are more determined than ever to bring together industry-academia-government stakeholders who share our vision and who will help us promote sustainable initiatives that inspire society to re-examine its norms and behaviors. Policy details of our latest projects will be decided at the end of this year, and we sincerely look forward to forming new connections with interested parties.