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Article: DEPT×KAPOK KNOT conversation, Part 2 “Thoughts on collaboration and the future of apparel”

DEPT×KAPOK KNOT conversation, Part 2 “Thoughts on collaboration and the future of apparel”

The Peaceful Climate Strike was held for seven days starting April 17th.

We are delivering the IG LIVE of DEPT representative eri, who led this action, and KAPOK KNOT representative Fukai in the first and second parts.

In the second part, we talked about the collaboration between DEPT and KAPOK KNOT that led to this conversation, as well as the issues they both feel in the apparel industry, and their thoughts on manufacturing.

*Click here for the first part

【table of contents】

・Interlocutor profile
・Opportunity for collaboration
・Thoughts about collaboration products
・Sewing of KAPOK KNOT products
・Apparel and a decarbonized society
・Reviewing down

Interlocutor profile

DEPT Company Representative/Designer/Activist eri


Born in New York in 1983, raised in Tokyo. Through the second-hand clothing store DEPT, they are promoting a lifestyle and corporate approach that has as little environmental impact as possible through SNS, and are taking action with a focus on climate change and the textile industry. In recent years, he has been active beyond the boundaries of fashion, such as by starting a podcast with New York-based writer Yumiko Sakuma about social issues called "Moshi Moshi Sekai."

~What is a Peaceful climate strike~

A climate summit with major emitters was held on April 22, led by the United States. The G7 meeting will be held on June 11th, where decarbonization will be the main agenda item, and the COP26 will be held in November. This 7-day event was held to provide an opportunity to think about building a decarbonized society in Japan, as the future of Japan's climate change countermeasures is being determined .

In addition to holding a 24-hour water and salt fasting campaign titled "Resonant Hunger Strike," various people who sympathize with this campaign will hold talk events to think about the climate crisis. was held.

Peaceful climate strike HP:

KAPOK KNOT representative Kisho Fukai

Mr. kishow

After graduating from Keio University in 2014, he worked for a real estate venture and a major textile manufacturer before joining his family business, Futaba Shoji Co., Ltd., an apparel manufacturer founded 75 years ago. He had doubts about the current apparel industry, which is based on mass production and mass disposal, but at the end of 2018, he encountered kapok and was convinced of his destiny. Started the KAPOK KNOT brand concept. A self-proclaimed kapok evangelist who says "kapok" more than 10 times a day.

Opportunity for collaboration

eri 2 shots

eri) The reason for this collaboration was that my company contacted me. I learned about KAPOK KNOT, bought a product on an e-commerce site, thought it was really good, and contacted them. Then I got a reply saying, ``KAPOK KNOT was wondering if we could do something with DEPT,'' so I felt like it was fate (lol)

Fukai: I was really surprised because I had talked about wanting to collaborate with DEPT at a meeting about a month before I got the call. What's more, I was thrilled to hear later that he had bought the product first.

eri) Isn't KAPOK KNOT's jacket really light and thin? I can't wear heavy outerwear in winter. I used to wear heavy wool coats because I was at a thrift store, but lately we've been experiencing mild winters, and it's hard to regulate my body temperature with heavy outerwear. So, after trying on the jacket I bought and thinking it was really good, I contacted Kisho-kun.

Thoughts on collaboration products

eri) Now let's talk about what we are trying to create now. I like light outerwear, but I can't wear it in the middle of winter. So I wear an inner jacket made of kapok underneath and a light outerwear for spring or autumn. So I thought it would be convenient to be able to take off the outerwear or kapok if necessary, and it would expand my range of fashion .

So, what we are currently working on together is an inner jacket . When worn with the outer front open, it looks neither too sporty nor too casual. Rather, I want to create something that doesn't feel out of place even when worn with a fashionable or casual dress. There are two types: jacket and vest type.

Fukai) Many KAPOK KNOT fans say they want the best.

eri) It's completely different just because the body is warmer. I think kapok is the best material because it's warm when worn as an inner layer. I would like KAPOK KNOT to actively make innerwear in the future!

By the way, we plan to pay attention to not only the kapok inside, but also the outer material. I'm thinking of using recycled fibers instead of synthetic resins. Using a smooth material for the body gives it a casual feel, so I would like to use something like wool for that purpose. However, I would like to choose the best wool available at the moment, including non-mule wool. Kapok itself is wonderful, so I want to pay close attention to small parts such as buttons and lining when making it!

Balmacan etc.

Fukai) Some of KAPOK KNOT's current products include sheets inside formal coats. Traditional down jackets have a lot of stitching, which can give them a ham-like silhouette at first glance. However, since kapok is in sheet form, you can create any silhouette you want.

eri) One of the benefits of Kapok is the increased freedom of design . It's true that down wear tends to look casual, so it can be difficult to wear it for work. Kapok sheets are a great invention because they can be worn as fashionable clothes while also keeping you warm from the cold!

Sewing of KAPOK KNOT products

eri) I think the process of carefully finding and creating materials one by one is difficult but really important, and I think that's what DEPT and KAPOK KNOT have in common.
Come to think of it, I really like the story about sewing KAPOK KNOT products. Where do you do your sewing?

Fukai) Our base is a sewing factory in Aomori. This factory has a somewhat unusual feature: all of the craftsmen can sew an entire piece of clothing in all its steps. Traditionally, apparel has a division of labor, with one person in charge of attaching the collar and the other person in charge of attaching buttons. There were very few people who could sew an entire garment.

The president of this factory has an interesting way of thinking, and he is very particular about not sewing a product until he can draw a pattern, design it, and sew a whole garment by himself.

sewing factory

eri) Please take me with you next time! (lol) By the way, what are the benefits of being able to sew in the round?

Fukai: I think it's about being able to pay attention to even the smallest details. ``If I paint this part in this way, it will be easier for the next person to sew, and the stitches will come out neatly.'' This allows each person to create products with consideration, resulting in a good finished product. This kind of consideration is probably important in creating a brand, and it's wonderful to see fashion that connects with each other , such as things like products should be done this way in order to be photographed beautifully, or settings should be set this way. I think.

Apparel and a decarbonized society

eri) When importing materials from overseas, there are various costs involved in importing them, right? But you said that kapok is light and has good cost performance compared to other heavy materials, right?

Fukai) Yes. We are currently calculating the carbon footprint (CFP) , which measures how much CO2 is emitted in the process of manufacturing products . If you compare the process of making it, you will probably find that there is more than 90% less kapok . In the case of feathers, we receive feathers from bred birds, but animals emit CO2, right? I think people are paying attention to the fact that cows emit methane gas, but the amount of emissions emitted by animals is enormous. On the other hand, kapok is a plant that reduces CO2, so the value is overwhelmingly low .

Kapok tree planting

Reconsidering down

eri) Most of the down we have been wearing is made from waterfowl feathers. I think we should reconsider the act of warming our bodies with materials extracted from animals, and whether it is really a good idea to buy new down now.

Fukai) Recently, recycled down has become popular.

eri) Yes. I once went to a factory called Kawada Feather that recycles feathers as part of a project by The North Face. A factory that takes old futons, washes the down inside, and recycles them. The feathers are washed using soft water, which easily absorbs dirt, and Marseille soap, which does not use any chemicals, and the wastewater from the factory comes out clean enough to drink. The dryer uses a high-performance machine imported from Germany, so the feathers are cleaner and fluffier than regular recycled down.


Fukai: I also used to make duvets at my mother's side of the house, so I never thought of trying to pick a fight with down (lol) The down we have now is down, and there is a way to recycle down. Therefore, I think it is important to coexist with it . In terms of creating a gradation where everyone can easily participate in a sustainable society, instead of making someone your enemy, why not listen to what various people have to say and come up with a solution like this? From this standpoint, I would like to continue to develop products in the future.


eri 2 shots 2

eri) The jackets we are making are currently being prepared so that they will be delivered to your doorstep next winter . I want to make samples without cutting corners or compromising on the details! Kapok is a really wonderful material, and I love Kisho-kun's way of thinking and KAPOK KNOT, so I would like everyone to pay attention to it!

Fukai) Thank you for your kind words! KAPOK KNOT is still evolving, working on the development of new sheets, so please look forward to future developments.