Japan Newspaper



Making clothes from deadstock fabrics in Omachi

Fashion designer, Mima Osawa, who grew up in New Zealand founded her brand MONO Handmade in Omachi, Nagano - her mother's hometown. She makes her fashionable and sustainable clothes and hats by upcycling deadstock fabrics which would otherwise be disposed to landfill. 

Mima moved to New Zeealand with her mother when she was a baby and paid a visit to her mother's hometown last year. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, causing disruption around the world. During then, she began to sew masks and research in-depth about the fashion industry - such as mass production and textile dispoals. She then started her handmade clothing business using her skills taught by her mother at her grandmother's house in Nishiyama, Omachi.  

She designs all her products and produces them herself using fabrics from one of Omachi's local deadstock fabric store. She focuses on made-to-order business concept, making each garment order one-by-one. Her clothings are mainly made in linen, a natural and breathable fabric perfect for summer. Her designs are simple yet sophisticated. Her clothes are sold in some stores in Hawai'i, and you can also purchase from her online store (https://monohandmade.com/)

Mima says "My goal is to develop a circular fashion model by repurposing and upcycling these discarded fabrics instead of letting them go to waste. And I hope the locals will get the chance to try my clothes and spark their interests in learning more about sustainable fashion."