Sashiko Jacket 2021 Kengo Kuma and Montura® Charity Project
In 2018, Kengo Kuma built a pavilion called “Kodama” in the Alte Serra forest, a sacred place for environmental art in Italy. During the presentation of the creation of the pavilion, he met Roberto Giordani, owner of the outdoor brand Monture®, and they came up with the idea of designing a limited production run of jackets for the year of the Tokyo Olympics and connecting them to social causes.
Combining the numbers 8 and 3, which are considered to be good luck in Japan and the Orient, it was decided to produce and sell 83+83 jackets in Europe and Japan respectively.
The proceeds from Japan will be donated to “WE – Women’s Eye”, a non-profit organization in Minamisanriku-cho, Miyagi Prefecture, where Kuma was involved in the recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake. The proceeds from Europe will be donated to the “Ger for Life” project in Mongolia led by Montura®.
Alte Serra and Politecnico di Milano are also actively participating in this project.
WE – Women’s Eye” (Minamisanriku-cho, Miyagi Prefecture):
Donation of proceeds in Japan
This non-profit organization is located in Minamisanriku Town, Miyagi Prefecture, which was severely affected by the 2011 tsunami, and focuses on the theme of “activities that empower women” and those who need help in Tohoku who are suffering from the tsunami and its effects. Japan is one of the countries with the most pronounced “gender gap” (120th out of 156 countries as of 2021, according to the World Economic Forum). In rural areas in particular, women face persistent discrimination by family and society, and lack access to all kinds of opportunities in education, profession, politics, or business.
WE has developed a “thematic” community development strategy and over the past few years has raised funds to run a small, well-defined project. We have a management staff of five, with the help of volunteers and support members.
Their goal is to further activate the role of women in society, to be a richly resonant communication platform for all women involved, and to spread the voices of mothers and daughters who have survived the tsunami disaster and continue to be challenged to transform their pain into energy.
Currently, WE has established the “Women and Girls Consultation Service” to support women in need, in response to the fact that female poverty and period poverty have become social issues in the Corona disaster. This project will continue to be operated as a commissioned project by Miyagi Prefecture until February 2022, but there are still many consultations to be received and this donation will be used to continue the project.
GER for Life (Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia):
Donation of proceeds in Europe
Ger for life is a collaborative project between David Bellatalla and the Mongolian Red Cross Society to support single mothers raising children with disabilities in the Chingeltei district of Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia. The project, which is already well underway, guarantees housing, safety, and medical support for the children, and includes building new relationships of trust, as well as helping to introduce the mothers to the world of work toward economic independence.
Anthropologist David Bellatalla has conducted research around the world and has published numerous books, studies, scientific papers, and documentaries. After teaching at the University of Perth, Australia, he moved to Mongolia to teach cultural and visual anthropology at the National Ulaanbaatar University of Mongolia, where in 2013 he was awarded the Gold Medal by the Mongolian government and the Red Cross Society for his work in helping orphans and vagrants in the capital for over 15 years.
The goal was to create a jacket that is elegant yet sporty and can be worn for informal occasions or more prestigious events. The jacket also features an integrated ultra-thin hood, thanks to Montura®’s innovative use of eco-friendly materials and processes.
The basic idea is to give a message of solidarity and unity, and the motif is traditional stitching, which is also one of the important workshops of WE.
Using this fine quilting, farmers in regions including the northeast have sewn beautiful, warm and durable garments out of nothing, taking care of just a few materials and scraps of cloth. Traditionally, simple and elegant embroidery is done with white cotton thread on indigo-dyed fabric. In the Sashiko jacket, gray stitches are used on a black background for a softer look.
The pattern of the stitching is a continuous development of the Montura logo. Coincidentally, a pattern very similar to “shippo-tsunagi” emerged. The shippo-tsunagi symbolizes the Japanese spirit of “helping each other,” which is about the relationship between people and happiness and is linked to the concept of this project.
For details on how to purchase and the jacket, please visit the special website.
Sales period until 9:59 a.m. on Monday, December 13, 2021.
Montura® Sashiko Jacket by Kengo Kuma ♢ Charity Project for ”Women’s Eye”