These scarfs and mufflers from Michinoku Akanekai, Iwate Morioka caught my eye as the perfect gift for the winter season. They are hand spun and woven from domestic natural wool, dyed only with environmentally friendly dyes. They even wash the wool with Effective Microorganisms developed by Japanese horticulturist Teruo Higa, from the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa. The company is promoting their goods as "slow" and long-lasting, and all items are hand-made.
Wool needs to be cleaned before use, and EM may just be the best way to get a really nice fabric. Higa reported in the 1970s that a combination of approximately 80 different microorganisms is capable of positively influencing decomposing organic matter such that it reverts into a "life promoting" process. In Japan, the EM are used for food production and "animal husbandry, compost and waste management," as well as disaster relief in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina.
Writer Takahashi Katsuhiko notes: "My parents wore their home spun jackets for 25 years... I look forward to winter wearing this scarf!"
Michinoku-Akanekai website (in Japanese only)
Brought to you by Martin Frid at greenz.jp