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Article: “5 natural materials that will create the future” selected by KAPOK KNOT

“5 natural materials that will create the future” selected by KAPOK KNOT

KAPOK KNOT is a brand that makes clothes using kapok, a natural material derived from plants. "Kapok" is a plant that grows wild in the cities of Indonesia, and the cotton from the tree's nuts is processed into sheets and used as filling for clothes.

Because it is a naturally occurring plant, there is no need to plant trees, and there is no need to pluck feathers from waterfowl like down.

We would like to introduce natural materials like kapok that can reduce environmental impact and contribute to a sustainable future.

◆What are natural materials◆

Generally speaking, it refers to materials that are made using things that exist in nature.

Natural materials can be broadly divided into two types: "animal fibers" made from animal fur, etc., and "vegetable fibers" made from plant stems, cotton, etc.

This time, we would like to introduce five carefully selected types of natural materials, such as plant fibers, which have a low impact on the environment, and new materials that contain many naturally derived ingredients, although they are not 100%.

1.Leather made from apples

When it comes to leather, cowhide and goatskin were commonly used, but recently leathers that are not derived from animals have been appearing one after another.

This time we would like to introduce Apple Skin, a leather made from apples.

It is made by upcycling apple pomace from the production of apple juice and combining it with materials such as urethane resin and cotton. Industrial waste can be used effectively and animals are not harmed. It is an innovative material that is kind to the environment and animals.

A brand called ``LOVST TOKYO'' makes products using this ``Apple Skin.''


We are developing bags, shoes, belts, and more by taking advantage of the material's strengths: it has a look and texture similar to traditional leather, is light, and is resistant to water.

``LOVST TOKYO'' sells leather items made not only from apples but also from grapes and corn. This is a brand that is currently attracting a lot of attention because it is particular about ingredients derived from fruits and vegetables.


2. Plastic made from eggshells

The time has come for natural materials to be used in plastics, a typical petroleum-derived material.

There have been plastic products made from materials such as rice and wood, but in recent years, a biomass plastic material called PLASHELL®️ has been developed using eggshells. It is made by effectively utilizing eggshells, which are produced as industrial waste during dessert manufacturing.


Source: Tetsu Masumi Co., Ltd. Press Release

The ingredients of ``PLASHELL®️'' are 60% eggshell and 40% plastic. Eggshells are mostly made of calcium carbonate, and have moderate durability and antibacterial properties, so they are used for things such as buttons on clothes and tableware.

3. Carbon material made from rice husk

A new material developed by the Sony Group that has become a hot topic is Triporous. A naturally derived carbon material made from rice husks.

Triporous, which has a unique microstructure made from rice husks, has the property of being able to adsorb more substances at a faster rate than conventional activated carbon. Therefore, it is expected to have a wide range of applications such as water and air purification.

Recently, there are also application examples in the apparel industry. With ``Apoc Able Issey Miyake,'' which Issey Miyake launched in March 2021, we have commercialized jackets and pants that are resistant to fading by dyeing fabric black with ``triporous'' kneaded into thread.

TYPE-I Image by: Hiroshi Iwasaki ©ISSEY MIYAKE INC

Rice husk is an industrial waste that is produced around 100 million tons or more every year around the world. ``Triporous'' is a material that is attracting attention as a means to effectively utilize such rice husks.

4. Bamboo material that grows without using pesticides

Bamboo is attracting attention as a sustainable material because it does not require large amounts of water or pesticides during cultivation.

Bamboo thread, which is made from bamboo fibers, is extremely soft. Furthermore, it is highly hygroscopic , and has various antibacterial and deodorizing functions. Because it is a material that is both comfortable and environmentally friendly, it has recently been increasingly used by apparel brands both in Japan and overseas.

For example, the Australian underwear brand ``Boodi'' sells products that use bamboo yarn, which uses less water than cotton and has a smoother texture. Sweatpants containing approximately 90% bamboo are said to be popular.

In 2021, a new brand ``TAKES.'' featuring the bamboo fiber ``TAKEFU'' was launched in Japan.

Source: takes.Product page “ TAL-001

"TAKEFU" is a natural material made 100% from bamboo, and was originally a fiber developed to make medical gauze. ``TAKES.'' focuses on its antibacterial, deodorizing, and moisture-absorbing properties, and sells T-shirts that are comfortable to wear and gentle on the body and the environment.


5. Kapok, fiber derived from tree nuts

Lastly, I would like to introduce you to "Kapok," which we use in manufacturing. Kapok is a plant that grows naturally in Indonesia, and we use the cotton from the tree to make our clothes.

Kapok is characterized by its lightness and functionality. Because Kapok fiber has a hollow structure, it weighs only 1/8 of cotton. Also, when the cavity is cold, it absorbs moisture and generates heat. When it's hot, it has the ability to release moisture and keep you cool and comfortable.

KAPOK KNOT also provides materials to other brands in order to further expand the popularity of kapok. Last year, we created the stuffed panda toy ``Kan-Kan,'' created in collaboration with ``Mother House.'' The outer fabric is made from Mother House's hand-spun and hand-woven Indian cotton khadi, and the filling is kapok.

Source: E. (MOTHER HOUSE) “Cancan” product page

The soft texture and lightness that even children can hold are characteristics that could only be achieved with Kapok.



Natural materials are not only environmentally friendly, but also kind to the users themselves and have excellent functionality. In addition to the products introduced in this article, products using natural materials are coming out one after another, so be sure to keep an eye out for them.

Additionally, the event ``KAPOK marche'' where you can actually touch the products of the three brands introduced this time, ``LOVST'', ``Mother House'', and ``KAPOK KNOT'', is currently being held.


KAPOK KNOT's showroom "Farm to Fashion base" in Nihonbashi has a large collection of items from 10 brands that have the three elements of [design], [functionality], and [sustainability]!

If you are interested, please come and visit us!

[Marche details]

  • [Event period] March 3rd (Thursday) to March 27th (Sunday), 2022 *Closed from Monday to Wednesday due to regular holidays
  • [Venue] Nihonbashi Showroom “Farm to Fashion Base”
  • [Address] Miyanaga Building 1F, 1-10-1 Nihonbashi Muromachi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-0022
  • *2 minutes walk from Mitsukoshimae Station A1 exit
  • [Business hours] 12:30-17:30
  • [Marche special page]
  • [Request] The purchased product will be handed over to you on the spot. Please bring your own bag to take home. Please join us in taking sustainable actions.

* * *