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Article: Dialogue vol.2|KAPOK KNOT and V-Cook representative talk about “Sustainable & Vegan” (Part 1)

Dialogue vol.2|KAPOK KNOT and V-Cook representative talk about “Sustainable & Vegan” (Part 1)

KAPOK KNOT is a fashion brand made from tree nuts.
We celebrated our 1st anniversary on October 6th and held an Instagram Live as an anniversary project.

This time, we will introduce the second part of the conversation, "Sustainable & Vegan."
We invited Mr. Kudo, the representative of the vegan recipe posting site V-Cook, as a guest, and the two had a heated discussion on the theme of ``animal-free living that does not consume animals and participation in a sustainable society.'' It will be delivered in two parts.

【table of contents】

・These two people were interviewed
・The common point is “lowering the cost of participating in sustainability”
・Reasons for choosing veganism
・Animal-free makes life easier for humans
・Flexitarian option

These two people talked

V-Cook representative Hiiragi Kudo

Mr. Kudo 1

I started living a vegan lifestyle in my third year of high school. In 2018, he launched the NPO Japan Vegan Community, and in 2020 established V-Cook Co., Ltd., which operates services such as the vegan recipe posting site "V-Cook." In August, he also published `` The World's 100 Easiest Vegan Recipes ''.


~What is V-Cook~
Japan's first recipe posting site specializing in vegan cuisine. It was officially released in 2019 as a web service that allows you to easily post and share vegan recipes in order to solve problems in vegan life such as not being able to make delicious vegan dishes and having a limited repertoire.


KAPOK KNOT representative Kisho Fukai

KAPOKKNOT representative

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 74 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.


The common point is “lowering the cost of participating in sustainability”

--The theme of this conversation is "Sustainable & Vegan." First of all, Mr. Kudo, our guest, could you tell us how you became interested in veganism?

Kudo-san 2

Kudo: It's been four years since I started going vegan, but it all started when I saw a cat being run over when I was in my third year of high school. As I was doing some research, I learned that more than 70,000 dogs and cats are slaughtered every year, and when I looked at the livestock industry, I learned that 50,000 pigs are slaughtered every day . Even though animals are inherently sentient beings just like humans, I really hate treating them like objects. For this reason, I continue to be vegan from the perspective of environmental issues and animal ethics .

Fukai) Is veganism something you can easily continue to do?

Kudo: I think it depends on the person, but some people find it difficult. I especially find it difficult to get started. I didn't know what I could eat, so for the first two weeks I only ate rice balls and water. Until I heard from other people that you could eat curry or make egg dishes without using eggs, I kept thinking that it would be difficult.

Fukai) Did that experience influence your decision to create a recipe book?

Kudo) That's right. This recipe book was created for people who are not yet vegan, rather than for people who are already vegan . I thought that incorporating vegan food into one's diet would attract attention in the future as one of the solutions to social issues such as environmental problems . However, even if you get a lot of attention, I think you will hit a wall where you don't know how to make it, so I created this recipe book that will help you solve the problem. It is now on sale at Rakuten, Amazon, and bookstores nationwide .

Fukai: It is true that it is very difficult to take action on such issues at first. I think there are quite a lot of people who want to do something about environmental issues, but feel like they can't do anything. I thought from the beginning that I felt similar feelings to V-Cook in this regard (lol).

We also want to make it easier for people who don't know where to start when it comes to sustainable fashion to participate in sustainability. The aim is to lower the cost of participating in sustainability.

Kudo) I understand! We have the same thoughts.

Why choose veganism?


Fukai) I think there are several reasons for choosing a vegan lifestyle, but could you tell me the most typical ones?

Kudo) It can be broadly divided into four parts. One is to improve your physical condition and maintain your health . It depends on the person, but your physical condition will often change for the better, such as waking up more easily in the morning or no longer having migraine headaches. The second is the same as the Kapok knot, environmental conservation . The choice is to avoid foods that have a high environmental impact, such as meat and milk, with an eye toward the next generation. The third perspective is animal welfare and animal ethics . It's not just the idea of ​​stopping because you feel sorry for them, it's the antithesis of the old idea that it's okay to hurt them because they're animals. Fourth, although it may be rare in Japan, there is also talk that it is practiced from religion .

Animal-free makes life easier for humans

2 women

--Could you please tell us your thoughts on the advantages and disadvantages that an animal-free lifestyle of not eating animal foods or using ingredients will bring to the future?

Fukai: To be honest, Kapok Knot is not primarily about ``Animal-free! No animals are used'', but rather ``It's functional''. I think that up until now, sustainable brands have had a high cost of participation, such as being a bit expensive or having a bit of inferior functionality. I believe that by lowering that cost, we will be able to accept various elements that will be necessary for society in the future, such as veganism, diverse sexualities, and so on, which will ultimately lead to a society where people can live more easily. That's what I think. I'm imagining a cycle in which the altruistic things we do for the environment end up being selfish.

Kudo) I am the same way. I think that environmental conservation and animal ethics are ultimately something we do for ourselves. To eat animals, you need plants to grow them, but you can eat plants as they are. I believe that one of the things we can do is use the Earth's limited resources efficiently so that humans can live happily for longer . Also, it is difficult for humans to live with ethical standards among themselves, and it is still a long way off before we can extend this to animals. That is why, if it extends to animals, humans will be seen as absolutely ethical. So, my second thought is that we can move closer to a better society both ethically and morally .

The flexitarian option

--Here we have a question from a viewer. What is the difference between vegetarian and vegan?

Kudo: There are many different types of vegetarians, such as those who only eat meat and fish, and those who do not eat meat, fish, or eggs but drink milk. Veganism is the idea of ​​avoiding animal products as much as possible, including meat, fish, milk, and eggs. Among them, there are some who are conscious not only about their diet, but also about not wearing feather clothing or leather items. Veganism isn't just about food, it's about lifestyle in general. It's okay if you think of it as a stronger vegetarian version.

Fukai) You've been hearing the word flexitarian a lot lately, right?

Kudo: Flexitarian is a fairly modern term. The key is to be flexible in choosing veganism . I try to live a vegan lifestyle as much as possible, but if I don't have a choice when eating out, I sometimes order animal products. In the United States, for example, there is a plant-based meat product called Beyond Meat , and the majority of people who buy it are flexitarians who don't go all the way to veganism, but do adopt it from time to time. I think it's easier to start by saying, ``Let's try becoming a flexitarian first,'' rather than ``Let's go vegan!'', so that's my favorite phrase.

Fukai) I also recently thought it would be nice to know! Rather than being extremely black and white, we should start with flexitarianism. I think it's great that a category called Beyond Meat, or alternative meat, has been created.


Wear clothes that are kind to the earth and choose a vegan lifestyle. It seems that KAPOK KNOT and V-Cook have a common belief in lowering the cost of participating in such sustainable choices . The conversation was quite lively from the beginning.

Now, in the second part, I would like to talk about the vegan situation in the world and Japan , animal-free in the apparel industry , and the business that the two of you are developing!

*Click here for the second part