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Fertile Fundraising Fashion

The Tohoku Cotton Project Will Revive Japan's Ravaged Prefecture

— October 31, 2011 — Social Good
As the Tohoku Cotton Project shows, the fashion industry isn’t simply about assembling dresses and displaying them on runways -- it spans to include textile manufacturers and fabric farmers, groups that were severely affected by March’s earthquake and subsequent tsunami.

More than 20 apparel manufacturers have pooled their resources and influence to kickstart production of fashion material in the devastated region of Tohoku. Throughout the prefecture, rice patties were not only leveled, but poisoned with high saline concentrations from the sea water. Yet, although rice can no longer be cultivated because of the pH measurements, cotton would flourish in the salty environment, giving fashion designers more threads to play and experiment with.

"The project provides cotton seeds to farmers whose rice paddies were flooded by the tsunami," PBS says. "The cotton will be harvested and purchased by participating companies, who will use it to create products such as towels and shawls."

This is the basic idea behind the Tohoku Cotton Project, which will employ displaced rice farmers in the collection of cotton, which will then be spun, blended with other organic materials and used to fabricate department store ensembles and high-fashion outfits alike. After an impressive appearance at the recent Tokyo Fashion Show, these new farmers have a stable, successful career to look forward to.

Contact Information:
Tohoku Cotton Project Website
Tuhoku Cotton Project on Facebook
Trend Themes
1. Reviving Textile Manufacturing - The Tohoku Cotton Project showcases an opportunity to revive textile manufacturing in regions devastated by natural disasters.
2. Sustainable Fashion - By utilizing cotton that thrives in a salty environment, the Tohoku Cotton Project demonstrates an opportunity for sustainable fashion production.
3. Collaborative Production Models - The collaboration between apparel manufacturers in the Tohoku Cotton Project highlights the potential for more collaborative production models in the fashion industry.
Industry Implications
1. Textile Manufacturing - The Tohoku Cotton Project presents an opportunity for the textile manufacturing industry to expand and rebuild in post-disaster regions.
2. Fashion Design - Fashion designers can explore the use of cotton from salty environments as a unique and sustainable material in their designs.
3. Agriculture - The Tohoku Cotton Project opens up possibilities for displaced rice farmers to transition into cotton farming, offering a new career in agriculture.
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