Muji is japanese for "no brand quality goods" and that is what this stylish, affordably priced chain of stores sells across Japan, Asia, and Europe (and in the Museum of Modern Art in New York). Established in Japan in 1980, where it is now ubiquitous, the company’s basic principle is to "develop new, simple products at reasonable prices by making the best use of materials while considering environmental issues." Clothing, housewares, furniture and office supplies are all good quality, simply-designed, contain no overt brand markings, and little or no packaging in their displays or sales.
In keeping with their environmental ethos, they have now created a series of tee-shirts, camisoles, socks and duvet covers out of recycled yarn. The floppy elephant toy (pictured) is joined by a dino, and a crocodile, bunny, giraffe and finger puppets. The yarn is made of waste cotton collected from cotton production factories. The fibres are separated and re-spun, but no sorting has been carried out so there are wonderful random patterns. And each item is unique. Because there is no re-dying involved, the amount of pollutants and energy consumption is reduced.