The Circular Economy Plus T-shirt is a circular economy project initiated in Yokohama. The aim is to make sustainable T-shirts using waste plastic bottles discarded in the area. The operation is handled by Yokohama Living Lab Support Office, an intermediary organization that supports living labs around Yokohama.
Circular Economy Plus is related to a vision of Yokohama Living Lab Support Office’s activities, which focuses on four areas: “local for local”, “sustainable development”, “health promotion” and “parallel career.” This is an initiative to create open innovation that solves local issues in Yokohama from the perspective of the circular economy while operates living labs in various locations as a base. “Plus” implies that the circular economy incorporates not only the economy but also the “people” to create a unique circular economy model for Yokohama.
Making T-shirts involved many stakeholders. First, the Yokohama branch of NPO greenbird, which cleans the city of Yokohama, collected plastic bottles. Then, Japan Environment Planning Inc with a special chemical recycling technology produced T-shirts by extracting polyester resin from plastic bottles. The T-shirt was designed by a designer from Yokohama, and printed by Okawa Printing Co., Ltd., known as Yokohama’s leading SDGs promotion company, using zero carbon printing.
All financing was raised through crowdfunding “LOCAL GOOD YOKOHAMA” operated by NPO Yokohama Community Design Lab. The finished T-shirt debuted at the “Sustainable Brands International Conference 2020 Yokohama” held in Pacifico Yokohama in February 2020.