As the grip of winter takes hold in areas ravaged by the March 11 quake and tsunami, two fashion and beauty firms are lending their support and appear to be warming the hearts of people who have lost everything and are now living in temporary housing.

In the Miyagi Prefecture city of Ishinomaki, where more than 3,900 people were killed or presumed lost in the calamity, a clothing donation event and the opening of a cafe with an accent on French culture have generated a lively atmosphere.

Marui Group Co., the Tokyo-based major retail firm that operates department stores in eastern and western Japan, has been holding a series of events in the Tohoku region to offer local people both new and secondhand clothing donated by its customers.