Samurai sneakers

Good morning everyone,

It's going to be a hot weekend with both today and tomorrow reaching highs of 29C although it's going to be overcast tomorrow. Then we may see some rain on Monday before clearing up on Tuesday and Wednesday and then rain again on Thursday. From Monday, it should feel a bit cooler.

Speaking of cool, how about these sneakers?
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These sneakers are made from cotton and the cool thing about them is that the cotton for them is made the same way it was for kimono back in the days of the samurai.

The fabric used is called “Aizu cotton”, which has a fascinating history that goes all the way back to the 1600s, when a feudal lord stipulated that wives and daughters of samurai warriors should take up weaving as a side job. As a result, a distinctive type of woven cotton was born, becoming immensely popular for its striped design, often dyed with indigo, and its durability, which led to it being used in everyday kimono. Fukushima once boasted hundreds of Aizu producing factories but now only two producers remain.

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The new range of sneakers aims to incorporate the popular kimono fabric into more modern forms of everyday wear in order to keep the local tradition alive. The group behind the project has posted their designs on Japanese crowdfunding site Makuake in order to help fund their production and with 20 days to go, they’ve exceeded their goal of Y1.6 million, having acquired Y2.17 million from 141 supporters.

Each pair of sneakers contains a different coloured aizu cotton lining, which adds an interesting accent to the high-tops when the sides are pulled down. Of course, the rest of the shoe is of the highest quality as well-the top of the shoe is made from suede and the rubber soles are hand-sewn onto the shoes.

With every part of the shoe put together by locals, this is a truly innovative project driven by members of the community dedicated to furthering their local textile manufacturing traditions. So, not only can you get a unique pair of shoes, you also get some good karma for buying locally. They're not cheap though...while the shoes are set to retail for Y19,800, supporters can pick up a pair in return for a Y16,000 pledge now on the crowdfunding website.

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They look pretty cool to me, but I don't think I can afford the price tag. How about you? Will you pick up a pair?

Have a great day!


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