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

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

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.

In the second installment, "Sustainable & Vegan," we invited Mr. Kudo, the representative of the vegan recipe posting site "V-Cook," as a guest, and talked about the theme of "Animal-free living without consuming animals and participating in a sustainable society." , a heated discussion took place.

This time, we will introduce the second half of the conversation. We spoke to them about topics that are directly related to their businesses, such as ``The vegan situation in Japan'' and ``Animal-free in the apparel industry.''

*Click here for the first part

【table of contents】

・These two people were interviewed
・Vegan situation in the world and Japan
・Apparel industry and animal free
・Aiming for a world where kind people benefit

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.


Vegan situation in the world and Japan

beyond meat


Kudo) Beyond Meat (the plant meat introduced in the first part) is not yet available in Japan, but it is already being rolled out in China.

Fukai) That's right. Not only are the populations different, but I've heard that areas like Shanghai, which used to be said to have severe environmental pollution, are becoming more environmentally conscious as the situation has gotten so bad. In our area, Allbirds , the world's most sustainable shoe brand, chose China, not Japan, as their first choice in Asia. In terms of market size and sensitivity to sustainability, I have the impression that the Chinese market is often chosen before Japan.

By the way, are there any recipe sites for vegans around the world ?

Kudo) There are recipe sites, but there are many media where the operators post recipes. I don't see any posting-type sites overseas where everyone can post and create excitement.

Fukai) Then what Mr. Kudo is doing is of great significance!

Kudo) What's interesting is that the cuisine differs from region to region, so even if you look at vegan recipes from America, you might not be able to make it because you don't have the ingredients! For example, mushrooms are very expensive, and superfoods are hard to come by.

Fukai) What are some examples of superfoods?

Kudo) Cheese-flavored nutritional yeast is often used in vegan recipes. It is not yet distributed in Japan, so we have no choice but to buy imported products. On the other hand, tofu often appears in Japanese recipes, but overseas it is treated like a luxury ingredient. In that sense, I think the key point when dealing with recipes is that the cuisine is regionally specific.

Fukai) So that means there is a possibility that Japanese-style vegan food will become a reality !

Apparel industry and animal free

Fukai) Speaking of apparel, when I wanted to buy something sustainable, I felt like there weren't many touch points. If you really want to go vegan, how do you choose your clothes?

Kudo: Honestly, I don't have a lot of choices when it comes to clothes. I avoid animal ingredients, but I buy from brands that don't specifically claim to be vegan or animal-free. The most troublesome things are belts and shoes. There is a select shop that imports shoes from overseas, and I always buy them there. However, it is difficult to find coats and such, which is a problem when it comes to fashion .

Fukai) That's right. I was curious and looked into it, and it seems that one of the challenges of vegan fashion is keeping warm . There are many warm materials made from animals such as leather, feathers, wool, and cashmere, but when asked to do without them, the question is, "How do you protect yourself from the cold?" In the old days, there were hanten made with cotton stuffed inside, but cotton is actually very heavy. That's why they fell out of fashion, and as a result, it was difficult to create warm items made from natural materials that were not derived from animals. Kapok , which is derived from tree nuts and provides warmth, is one solution to this problem.


Kudo) Why did you focus on kapok in the first place?

Fukai: It was little known in the textile industry, but I had heard that it was something that could not be commercialized. I got interested in this, so I did some research with my seniors at my previous job at a textile manufacturer, and found out that it can be used in place of down! That's what I realized.

Kudo) Why was it not commercialized until now?

Fukai: The first reason is that kapok fibers are too short and light to make into thread . Major companies wanted to turn it into yarn because it was used for textiles, but they tried over and over again and were unable to do so. Our idea was to process it into a thin sheet and put it inside clothes , and it felt like something new.

Aiming for a world where kind people benefit

--Please tell us about the worldview that V-Cook and KAPOK KNOT would like to aim for in the future, and the future business development.

vegan sandwich

Kudo) Veganism and vegetarianism originated in England, and the developed country is Germany, but when you walk into a cafe there, you can usually find vegan toast and donuts on sale. If you go to a hamburger shop, you'll find vegan hamburgers, and even supermarkets have vegan sections. I would like to create the same worldview where people can feel free to start veganism if they want to start today .

As for V-Cook, we are currently focusing on recipes, but in the future we will offer products and services that will make it easier for people who don't have the time or are unable to cook to choose a vegan lifestyle. I want to go. I want to play a role in showing people that using V-Cook makes it possible to go vegan without any difficulty. The reason is that while there are people who want to practice environmental conservation and animal ethics, I don't like the idea that their own lives are made difficult or inconvenient because of their activities . I want to create a society where good people with that kind of will can benefit.

factory women

Fukai) What KAPOK KNOT is currently aiming for is " connected fashion ." We want to connect producers, the earth, and consumers. When it comes to food, clothing, and shelter, I think clothing is the least connected thing right now. I think food is being replaced with more familiar things, such as seeing the face of the producer and housing being DIY, but there are very few things that take care of clothing. When we sell kapok, we plant trees and connect it to tree-planting activities. When the fruit of that tree becomes fruit and the next clothes are made, it circulates as a connected fashion . It used to be said that when it comes to apparel, you just buy it and you're done with it, and then you throw it away and you're done with it, but I want to continue to connect people.

I believe that beyond that, we will create a world where people who want to become aware of various perspectives, such as what it is like to live a vegan life or what sexuality is like, and want to move forward, can benefit from it . Aiming for such a world, I think the cost of participation will be reduced by creating an outer jacket called kapok knot that doesn't require too much effort .


V-Cook, which develops recipes that do not use animal ingredients, and KAPOK KNOT, which makes clothing that does not use animal materials. This conversation was made possible by the common denominator of " animal-free ". However, through their talk, I got the feeling that there are parts of them that share not only the concept, but also the worldview of ` `lowering the cost of participation in doing good deeds .''

Participate in a sustainable society through animal-free living. We have brought you a conversation about two services and brands that will give you an opportunity to do just that.