Sustainability

Sustainability in fashion has always been the most important thing for us to place emphasis on. At the heart of our operations, it is the designing of clothes that can be worn for decades to come - created by striking a balance between fulfilling our social responsibility and bringing stylish designs to customers - that we hope continues to serve as a guiding pursuit. 


For us, so that our customers can continue to enjoy our products with great satisfaction and joy and so that our products are maintained in the best possible condition, it is essential to draw on materials of the highest quality and the finest of Japanese craftsmanship for our products. Moreover, to ensure that our customers can continue wearing our items for a long time without getting tired of them, we are guided by fundamental principles when designing our timeless apparel instead of chasing transient fads.


When making new clothes, we always keep this ethos in mind as we travel around the world to seek out the very best materials for both the people and our environment. In addition to using materials that have been certified organic under a set of rigorous criteria, we also visit the production sites of the materials in person whenever possible so that we can develop eco-friendly products that bear the faces of those who have had a hand in cultivating the fiber crops and raising the animals from which the materials derive.


Organic Cotton

In terms of high-quality cotton available globally now, all is produced in the New World, and moreover all variations and locales can trace those cottons back to Peru. With increased global demand for cotton, many issues have drawn concern around its production - from human rights issue like the usage of chattel slavery for much of its production in the past to modern examples of pesticide pollution, droughts, amongst other trends after the boom in demand after World War II. 

Since 2018, MARKAWARE has been using organic cottons, with cottons that are uncertified at least having been seen to have been grown sustainably for all our products. One example of these is our Peruvian “jungle cotton” which is grown in the tropical rainforests - found at the far reaches of roads that narrow down to the width of mountain trails. In this area where it is difficult to even transport pesticides, chickens are used for pest control and rain as substitute for sprinklers. In this natural ecosystem, it is the rare sight of tall, cotton-bearing trees growing in the midst of natural cycles and divorced from excessive consumption of water and energy that shows us how robust this environment is. 

In addition, in pursuit of our sustainability goals towards cotton production, we are currently establishing our own cotton plantation in Peru. With this, we believe that we will be able to deliver products made from locally harvested  Pre-Organic Pima Cotton by 2023.

Alpacas

Higher in elevation than even the summit of Japan’s Mount Fuji, in the hillsides - amongst the slopes of the Andes. Here at an altitude of around 4,000 meters, you may find Alpacas - animals that can cope with the polar regions - that have been living alongside the people of this region of Peru. For the people of this region, the alpaca have been an indispensable part of their lives - supporting those of this region, which is not only far from urban areas but also unsuitable for the farming of crops and raising of livestock, being far above the treeline where tall trees stop growing. This history of their coexistence is said to go back thousands of years.

In addition to drinking the meltwater provided by the Andes for sustenance, Alpacas eat but do not entirely pull plants up by their roots - due to the unique shape of their and other camelids’ mouths. With their feet also mostly consisting of large paw pads, they are incredibly eco-friendly animals that do not damage the soil either. Most importantly, their fleece - made of long, durable fibers that retain a natural glosiness - serves as a raw material for the production of long-lasting clothes. Furthermore, undyed alpaca fleece, which is said to have the most color variation among natural fibers, maintains its fluffy, smooth texture even after production, allowing you to enjoy a luxurious feeling of comfort. 

With these characteristics and by obtaining materials through direct trade with local producers, we consider alpaca fleece a truly sustainable material from both the perspectives of environmental impact and fair trade. 

Organic Wool

South of the Colorado River, which flows in South America at a latitude around 40° south, lies the Patagonia region - referred to as the “Land of the Winds” due to its unique climate where dry westerly winds blow in strong gusts. With a high latitude and cold climate that makes the cultivation of plants and raising of cattle difficult, local peoples have always relied on raising sheep as the main source of livelihood for many years. So integral to the land, the common sight of herdsmen known as gauchos chasing sheep alongside their border collie sheepdogs has become a symbolic scene for this region. 

With the vast plains overlooking the Andes Mountains as their ranch, you will find a plot of land the size of the Tokyo Dome for every one or two sheep - with plenty of wild grass for them to eat amongst the endless greenery. Being inhospitable to parasites that might otherwise harm the sheep, in the region there is no need to carry out mulesing - which has become controversial from an animal rights and welfare perspective in recent years. 

With this, MARKAWARE uses organic wool produced in accord with the “Five Freedoms” of animal welfare to make all our clothes. Produced by sheep allowed to graze freely in an ideal, natural environment as close to the wild as possible, we believe our raw wool to be an incredibly sustainable material across many aspects. 

Traceability

Since 2001, marka/MARKAWEAR has been making genuine products in collaboration with factories all over Japan under the concept of "Made in Japan".

The early 2000’s period saw Japanese fashion shift to inexpensive overseas production, leaving an industry that has been developed since the Meiji era and that arose with the highest level of domestic technology to be neglected. Long committed to the idea of supporting Japanese manufacturing, at the core of our brand since the beginning has been a transparency about our producers - something rare amongst the business practices of that early period. Since 2014, MARKAWARE has continued to lead the industry by pioneering the practice of transparency at a greater detail with the attaching of tags to all our products that describe clearly the traceability of raw materials, dyeing, and sewing. 

For us, the tag can be thought of as the memory of the journeys that the clothes themselves have taken - and also symbolizes our wish for the sustainability of Japanese manufacturing, in the hope that it will lead to new jobs for local factories. At the same time, in being truly committed to developing new products that take into consideration the environmental impacts and related human rights issues at every step from raw material production onwards, we will continue to work towards disclosing information about these efforts, transparently.