In the depths of Fukuoka’s countryside is Takarajima Senkou. Founded by Mizuma native Chiharu Ogomori, the workshop of Takarajima Senkou aims to enhance the resilience of the indigo dyeing and textile industry. By rethinking the production process, the workshop makes indigo dyeing accessible and sustainable, without losing sight of the traditions of the craft.
The traditional methods of dyeing and textile making used by some makers are neither accessible nor sustainable, as they are hugely labour intensive. By taking a critical look at this system, Takarajima Senkou aims to reorganize the business. Most traditional workshops rely on a single artist to perform the craft of dyeing. At Takarajima Senkou, however, they train their staff to specialise in this craft, making for faster production. Takarajima Senkou were able to build their production capacity by performing OEM, dyeing the clothes of other apparel brands. This venture gave Takarajima a secure base to build upon, allowing them to launch their very own in-house clothing brand.
By rethinking the production process, the workshop makes indigo dyeing accessible and sustainable, without losing sight of the traditions of the craft
With their naturally dyed textiles, Takarajima Senkou are hoping to bring some environmental consciousness to the fashion industry. Nowadays textiles are usually dyed with chemical dyes. Takarajima Senkou however, saw the importance of using natural dyes for environmental and human health, motivating them to create this natural textile workshop. The workshop uses indigo from India, which is a lot cheaper than traditional Japanese indigo. This means that they can sell the indigo pieces at an accessible price, allowing a greater number of people to participate in the tradition and own indigo-dyed clothing. By focusing on tactics that enhance the efficiency of handmade craft work, Ogomori and her team are able to dye 1,000-2,000 pieces of clothing each month.
Takarajima Senkou saw the importance of using natural dyes for environmental and human health, motivating them to create this natural textile workshop
However, there is still work to be done. Whilst natural indigo dye is non-toxic, excessive drainage of the substance can lead to environmental complications. Takarajima Senkou is therefore taking a critical look at waste streams in order to make the system as environmentally friendly as possible. And their philosophy definitely pays off. The workshop is quickly growing in popularity, and the in-house clothing collection is highly sought after.