by Melissa Forester
No longer limited to speciality stores and co-ops, these days eco-friendly products can be found in nearly every major retailer and department store. And they’ve come a long way from macramé baskets and scratchy hemp potato sacks—the latest in eco-friendly products both look and feel great, while at the same time being friendly on the Earth.
Relax in the bath after a hard day at the office or school, and then wrap yourself in the softness of these Hamam Marine Breeze towels. Created with the Turkish steam bath (hammam) concept in mind, the cloth is made with environmentally friendly dyes and is highly absorbent. Available in a variety of sizes, from face cloths to bath towels. Living Motif (www.livingmotif.com), ¥1,785–¥10,500.
Started by one of the co-founders of yoga wear line lululemon athletica, Movement clothing is inspired by yoga, but works just as well for everyday use. Made of soft, sustainable bamboo fabric produced with minimal environmental impact, this bomber jacket makes the perfect lightweight cover-up to accent any outfit. Movement (www.thatgirldani.com/Bamboo_Yogawear.html), ¥16,000.
Even Swedish interior and design giant IKEA is getting in on the eco-friendly trend, taking steps to ensure that it only uses responsibly-felled timber, and also utilizing renewable materials such as rattan and bamboo. This rattan rocking chair is a marriage of IKEA’s renowned modern design sensibility and eco-consciousness, and the gentle swinging action relaxes both the mind and body. IKEA (www.ikea.com/jp/en), ¥19,900.
Since 1986, German company Sonnenleder has been making quality leather products using pure vegetable (rather than chemical) tanning processes. Take a break from the fast lane by kicking around one of their soccer balls with friends or family, or test your coordination with the smaller juggling balls. This model of football is a reproduction of the official ball used in the 1954 World Cup in Bern, Switzerland. Living Motif (www.livingmotif.com), ¥23,100 and ¥2,940.
Nothing is softer than pure, unbleached organic cotton, and these bed linens will provide wonderful nights of sleep for months or even years to come. Made in India of certified organic cotton jersey, the sheets not only feel great, but the natural color means that they’ll complement any decor, while remaining gentle on the environment and cotton farmers. People Tree (www.peopletree.co.jp), ¥1,900–¥7,900.
Dutch brand Krejci (pronounced ‘kreji’) is poised to give its Swiss competitor Freitag a run for its money with these stylish yet utilitarian bags. Made from recycled bicycle inner tubes reclaimed from the many bikes that cram Amsterdam’s streets, all bags are handmade, durable, and feature a high quality finish. Other models are made from materials such as recycled industrial felt and old air mattresses. Marcs International (http://marcs.co.jp), ¥24,000.