Here’s another way to explore sustainability. How about re-colouring what you cannot move on the selling floor? That’s exactly what Muji is doing with their new sub-brand Re-Muji, which the label describes as a “recycling initiative whereby selected unsold garment items would be re-dyed as an effort to reduce and eliminate waste, while giving the product a ‘new life.’”
Sure, the clothes were subjected to the usual rounds of markdowns. But when even that can’t clear the merchandise, rather than discard or destroy them, Muji facilitates a rebirth by treating the garments to a colour job, in this case, blue. Not just any blue, but the Japanese plant dye indigo. And as with dyeing the natural way, the shades of blue varies. Therein, for us, lies the charm.
In keeping with Japanese brands that tout their love and penchant for indigo, such as Blue Blue, these clothes not only have an earthy patina; they feel lived-in too. Most of these new-again garments come with contrast top-stitch of khaki. The effect brings to mind Japanese finishes such as those by Junya Watanabe. A shopper was heard telling the staff that many of the styles in their original colour held no appeal for her until the appearance of this inky wash.
Surprising for so many charmed by the blue is what Muji is charging for them. Nearly all the pieces, whether tops or bottoms, for men or women, go for the very persuasive price of S$29. This is lower than similar garments displayed under the section New Arrivals.
If there’s a problem with such a concept, it’s the availability of sizes (mostly S and XL). Chances are, you’ll not find the style you want in the size that fits you.The staff could not confirm if the stocks of any particular model will be replenished. “We were not told,” one of them said with a hint of regret.
Still, the fun is in what you may unearth. There’s a thrift-store aspect to the experience. For the eco-warrior, the additional appeal of shopping with less guilt could be had. These clothes were rescued from the brink of death by dye. Muji reworks Muji. Who’d have guessed?
Re-Muji is available at Muji, Ion Orchard. Photos: Galerie Gombak