We buy clothes at Japan’s only Uniqlo location specializing in reused and remade clothing.

Japanese clothing giant Uniqlo has been focused on recycling unwanted clothing items for some time now, especially through the Re.Uniqlo campaign which partners with international relief organizations to send gently worn clothes to refugee camps and other disaster-hit areas around the world. This spring, the apparel brand has taken a new step by opening its first-ever used clothing pop-up shop under the banner of the “Furugi (old clothes) Project” in order to standardize the recycling of clothing items even further within the fabric (pun intended) of society.

The Furugi Project pop-up shop opened within Tokyo’s Chitosedai area Uniqlo location on March 29 and is slated to be open until August 31 of this year. Our fashion-conscious Japanese-language reporter Mr. Sato simply had to go check it out shortly after it opened.

▼ Outside of the Uniqlo Chitosedai branch

Mr. Sato noticed the special display immediately upon entering the store. It was bit smaller than he had expected, but figured that maybe the store was still in the midst of collecting recycled clothing items for it.

The donated clothes that were there fell into a couple of categories. Some were reused if they were in very good shape at the time of donation, being carefully washed prior to going on the shelves. Others were remade into new products altogether with a bit of a vintage vibe.

The reused clothes cost anywhere between 1,000-3,000 yen (US$6.60-19.79) per piece, which Mr. Sato thought was a pretty good deal and more comparable to the standard prices at Uniqlo a long time ago.

Meanwhile, the remade clothes tended to be a little pricier depending on the item. Since a new, officially licensed Uniqlo T-shirt regularly retails for around 1,500 yen, Mr. Sato was a bit skeptical of paying 2,000 yen for a remade T-shirt.

In addition, he was a little worried about whether the sizes noted on the tags would be accurate after having undergone cleaning at high temperatures–a couple of the items looked like they had shrunk a bit during that process. Case in point: he saw one item whose tag indicated that it was a large, but holding it against his body, he saw that it fit more like a small. Therefore, he recommends that everyone try on the clothing before purchasing to double check that it fits well.

In the end, Mr. Sato selected a T-shirt, long-sleeved shirt, and a pair of pants to bring home.

First up was a remade light khaki T-shirt (2,000 yen). Its tag indicated a large size but he felt it was a bit smaller than a medium.

The sleeves also seemed to be a bit shorter than if it were a brand-new product.

Next was a reused light blue long-sleeved shirt (1,500 yen).

He thought it would be perfect to wear as an outer layer during this season when mornings and nights are still a little bit chilly.

Last was a pair of reused dark khaki pants (1,500 yen).

There were signs of wear around the pocket area, but it wasn’t anything terrible.

Here was Mr. Sato in his fully recycled Uniqlo-sourced outfit.

While each of the items had looked good on its own, he was a bit let down by his self-professed lack of ability to coordinate a cool get-up by himself.

Overall, he was probably most pleased with the remade T-shirt. He liked the color and the fit and could definitely see himself wearing it a lot in his daily life. He decided the 2,000 yen for it had been worth it.

If you visit the Furugi Project pop-up shop yourself, Mr. Sato recommends finding an item of recycled clothing that you like first and then trying to find new products to coordinate it with, since there will be many more options.

Lastly, another Uniqlo Furugi Project pop-up shop will materialize in Fukuoka’s Tenjin area on April 12, also staying open until August 31 of this year. Hopefully the stores will be successful and lead to a permanent recycled clothing store location in the near future.

Store information
Uniqlo Setagaya Chitosedai / ユニクロ世田谷千歳台店
Address: Tokyo-to, Setagaya-ku, Chitosedai 3-20-1, Kariino Chitosedai 1st floor
東京都世田谷区千歳台 3-20-1 カリーノ千歳台1F
Duration: March 29, 2024-August 31, 2024
Open: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. (weekdays), 10:00 a.m.-8 p.m. (weekends)

Reference: Uniqlo
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