Environmentally Friendly Gift Wrapping



Furoshiki is a type of wrapping cloth that has traditionally been used in Japan to wrap clothes whilst bathing in public baths. Throughout history, these cloths have also been used as an all-purpose carrying device. Back in 2006, Japanese environmental minister at the time, Yuriko Koike, promoted  her own resurrected form of furoshiki.

Yuriko Koike’s ‘mottainai furoshiki’ is a modern interpretation of traditional furokishi made of recycled consumer products. Koike promoted her ‘mottainai furoshiki’  as a unique alternative to plastic bags when shopping, however, here at Bristol and Brooks, we see ‘mottainai furoshiki’ as a creative and environmentally friendly way to wrap gifts!  Use a silk scarf or some vintage fabric to create your own furoshiki wrap design or use the guide below.

Here is a statement about ‘mottainai furoshiki’ from Koike:

“I’ve created what you might call a “mottainai furoshiki”. The Japanese word mottainai means ‘it’s a shame for something to go to waste without having made use of its potential in full’. The furoshiki is made of a fiber manufactured from recycled PET bottles, and has a birds-and-flowers motif drawn by Itoh Jakuchu, a painter of the mid-Edo era. The Japanese wrapping cloth known as the furoshiki is said to have been first used in the Muromachi Period(1392-1573), when people spread it out in place of a bath mat or wrapped one’s clothes with it. The furoshiki is so handy that you can wrap almost anything in it regardless of size or shape with a little ingenuity by simply folding it in a right way. It’s much better than Plastic bags you receive at supermarkets or wrapping paper, since it’s highly resistant, reusable and multipurpose. In fact, it’s one of the symbols of traditional Japanese culture, and puts an accent on taking care of things and avoiding wastes. It would be wonderful if the furoshiki, as a symbol of traditional Japanese culture, could provide an opportunity for us to reconsider the possibilities of a sound-material cycle society. As my sincere wish, I would like to disseminate the culture of the furoshiki to the entire world.”


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