Hello CICLO readers this Melisa. Today’s blog is about a local business here in Japan. I would like to introduce Pygoscelis Natural, a sustainable underwear brand for women which uses organic cotton raw material made locally in Japan.
What does Pygoscelis Natural mean?
Pygoscelis Natural was established by Jeanne Ebendinger who came to Japan all the way from France 5 years ago to study at Waseda University. Pygoscelis is the genus name of penguins (Jeanne’s favorite animal since she was a child) and she wanted to incorporate this image to her brand.
During the time Jeanne started to build her own company, she became much more aware about the importance of sustainability and wanted to implement this idea to her business. The fashion industry is currently the second most polluting industry in the world. A lot of natural resources are used to make clothes (water, fossil fuels for energy, textile material, ect.). A single pair of jeans can use up to 10,000 liters of water until its complete production. These clothes only get used for a short period of time and consumers quickly renew their wardrobe for another pair. This is the reason why Jeanne decided to use only products which are locally processed and environmentally sustainable. She uses only organic cotton which is JOCA (Japanese Organic Cotton Association) certified as raw material taken from New Mexico, USA. This material is then all locally woven processed in Japan. She also uses no plastic packaging, all packaging and labels are paper-based which can be easily recycled.
The start of Pygoscelis Natural
In July 2018, Jeanne decided to undergo the start of her new business here in Japan. She had a vision to build a sustainable brand with environmentally-friendly principles. However, she found many obstacles along the way. She never had touched a sewing machine before but was motivated to learn and persevere to try something new. She designs all of her products and handmakes them one by one. She started out advertising her brand using only Instagram and her number of followers has increased to almost 2000. Pygoscelis Natural online shop offers bra-tops and undies in two different beige and brown colored cotton material. She also just released a new design of high waisted undies and tank tops using 100% organic cotton material. Also, to decrease the amount of raw material waste accumulated during the production process, she uses the leftover cotton to make facial pads (which are perfect for removing makeup or applying your favorite facial products). These cotton pads can be simply washed and reused, reducing the amount of waste you make during your daily facial routine (creating a positive impact for our planet!).
Why should you support Pygoscelis Natural?
I had the pleasure to meet Jeanne in person. She is a young, passionate and intelligent woman. She told me that the main reason why she began her own business is because she wanted to create a meaningful impact in Japan in terms of spreading awareness about sustainability. However, her biggest hurdles has been to get prospective Japanese customers to truly understand the meaning behind her products (the positive aspects of buying locally sourced, supporting local businesses and using little to no plastic packaging). Unfortunately, most people are weary to support her cause because they don’t truly understand the importance of sustainability. Currently, most of the support has come from foreigners living in Japan or abroad whom she has had the chance to connect with via her Instagram. She hopes that in the future, more awareness about sustainability will increase in Japan as it has already in other parts of the world. I would like to leave with Jeanne’s final words for our readers at Ciclo:
Hi everyone! I hope you enjoyed reading my story and that you will be more mindful about the resources used to make your clothing next time you go shopping. Pygoscelis Natural wants you to buy local and organic but only when it’s necessary! Let’s rethink and reduce the way we consume goods. We can be greener if we work together!
Thanks for reading everyone! Be sure to check out Pygoscelis Natural’s website and Instagram page below! I hope we can all spread the word about sustainability through the businesses which do their best to spread and support awareness. Next time you buy a new pair of jeans, try to think more deeply about all of the natural resources and materials used to make it and maybe think again if you really need to buy it (you can buy amazing finds at recycle shops for a fraction of the price and with a zero-carbon footprint)! Until next time!