“Ligaretta” – An upcycling brand from Marunouchi
Linking the story of Marunouchi while reducing waste and recirculating materials
OMY Area Management Association (Ligare)
OMY Area Management Association (Ligare)
OMY*1 Area Management Association (known as “Ligare”) is engaged in various activities themed on creating vibrancy, improving the environment, and building community while using local resources in the Marunouchi area. It also runs the office of DMO TOKYO Marunouchi, an organization working to attract urban area-wide MICE*2 to the Marunouchi area.
To commemorate 20 years since opening in 2002, Ligare launched “Ligaretta”, an upcycling brand which remakes used banners and other street advertisements in Marunouchi area into consumer goods to circulate back to the area. We interviewed with key players about this unique project that are also linked with MICE.
It all began from the connections with the people of Marunouchi
When we discussed our thoughts and ideas with different people, we were given the opportunity to meet with some designers. They shared our feelings about it and proposed the way of remaking the used banners into products, which perfectly matched with our envision. After revisions and many discussions about the details, we eventually created items like pouches and neck straps as test products. In fact, the skirt I am wearing today is also our sample-upcycled product. I love this because I feel a bond with it and can wear it so many ways.
With the goal of cutting down waste and recycling materials, Ligaretta aims to remake banners hung in the area, materials used for events, and other materials that have served their purpose into clothes and accessories to be circulated back into the local area anew for the benefit of businesses, society, and the environment. We view Marunouchi area materials that are normally discarded as being infused with the area’s story. In addition to reducing waste, linking the Marunouchi story is another important concept for us.
Fusion with creators to enhance Ligaretta’s appeal
This experience taught me how cooperation between professionals with a variety of creative talents and businesspeople like us and the skillful fusion of our unique assets allows us to perfect plans and products, creating an even better outcome. I felt the brilliance of the power those artists and creators possessed and was very inspired. It also provides the strength to embody the story behind the brand and draw people in.
Full-scale launch of product marketing this summer
What I remember the most was a man who spoke in passionate detail, saying, “I would love a collarless jacket or shirt I could slip on when standing in front of a crowd.” Others asked if we could sell the actual materials or said they would love it as fabric to use as curtains or other interior décor items. These comments showed me that there was a demand for things I had not even thought of, and they were extremely useful.
We eventually would like our products to be sold in stores. We are aiming to use some of the racks in several apparel shops in the Marunouchi area for our products. For items like bags, business card cases, and neckties as well as clothing like coats and skirts, we plan on using a made-to-order system. Customers tell us the specifications like the size, each piece would be individually hand sewn by a craftsperson, and then we send the finished product to the customer by mail. We plan on presenting the skirt that Ms. Hasegawa is wearing with some changes in the design for easier wear by more people.
We also would like to bring green products to MICE participants
Circular economy is a relatively new concept in Japan, and we are still learning every day, with many mountains to climb. Nevertheless, it is important to implement this concept so that everyone learns about green initiatives, and we will continue moving forward one step at a time.
In the way that Ligaretta was created from our connections with the people of Marunouchi and through cooperation, we hope to continue growing the brand together with all the different people who become involved. Many people find sustainability difficult to approach. We would be thrilled if becoming interested in Ligaretta or picking up the products sparks a sense of ownership, for example encouraging people to think about minimizing waste to the extent that is possible for them.