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Fashion and food have many areas of overlap, especially the stratosphere of haute cuisine and haute couture. They also share a reputation for waste. The good news is successful chefs and fashion houses, who might not have to not worry about the bottom line as much, are experimenting with ideas that can trickle down and affect real change in their industries.

First up, yesterday was a big day for the food world in Japan as the new 2021 Michelin Guide was announced. As to be expected in one of the world’s largest gourmet hubs, this year 57 new restaurants and seven new hotels were added to the guide.

Of particular note this year was the parceling out of six Green Stars to restaurants in recognition for their initiatives in sustainability. This was the cherry on top for one of the recipients — L’Effervescence — and its chef, Shinobu Namae, who also reached the hallowed top tier of restaurants that have three stars. You can read more about the milestones of chef Namae on his way to the top, as tracked by Tokyo Food File, as well as other food sustainability projects in Japan.

The Issey Miyake Kyoto: Kura Gallery displays the Tadanori Yokoo Issey Miyake Tarzan blouson paired with a panel of jacquard featuring the jacket’s pattern parts. | KEIJI OKUBO
The Issey Miyake Kyoto: Kura Gallery displays the Tadanori Yokoo Issey Miyake Tarzan blouson paired with a panel of jacquard featuring the jacket’s pattern parts. | KEIJI OKUBO

On the fashion end is always innovative Issey Miyake, whose fashion brands are actually more eco-friendly than you might imagine. For a recent project, Issey Miyake designer Yoshiyuki Miyamae collaborated with celebrated artist Tadanori Yokoo to produce jacquard jackets emblazoned with the Pop designs that are actually woven into the fabric. The results are stunning and belie the fact that the clothing is made of 70% recycled plastic polyester.

The power of recycling is also on display, writes Mio Yamada, at a unique complex an hour outside of Fukuoka, in southern Japan, which sells hazai (scrap materials) to inspire individuals and encourage recycling waste. Every item on the market shelves is a waste product or byproduct, carefully selected and displayed to showcase its potential as a creative material. And it’s anything goes, from sewing machine spools to paper lantern overstock to fishing net weights.

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