TOO GOOD TO WASTE: A SHORT HISTORY OF BORO

Literally translated, the Japanese word ‘boro’ means “rags or scaps of cloth.” Boro refers to garments and the Japanese philosophy of mottainai, or in other words, certain things being too good to waste.

There’s a very strong presence of the boro philosophy here at Sydney’s. We truly believe that we cannot afford to waste anything so we strive to source garments that are far too good to waste.

From Wafu Works.
From Wafu Works.

This notion has its roots in feudal Japan. Those who were not part of the upper classes could not afford textiles such as silk. Rigorous wear and tear on these garments necessitated frequent repair, most often taking the form of stitching and patchwork. This practice was refined as techniques were passed on from generation to generation.

Eventually, this essential practice became somewhat of a folk-art as various regional weaving and patching techniques have been passed down for centuries. Original boro items have become highly collectable — coveted for the fantastic craftsmanship, care and tradition poured into each garment as well as the complex beauty of the patchwork involved with a boro item.

From Tokyo Jinja.
From Tokyo Jinja.

This is where Kapital comes in. This legendary brand is known for their denim, forward-looking lookbooks and complex handknit patchwork often meticulously recreating boro stitching techniques.

Kapital has become somewhat of a ‘cult’ brand for creating garments that feel as though they have been yours forever. This is in no small part due to Kapital’s decidedly old-school methods of production and dedication to traditional techniques. Every Kapital piece is handmade and the boro patchwork detailing  is applied by hand. While this might seem impractical to most clothing companies, this is the only way for Kapital.

We are proud to stock Kapital Japan, and looking forward to receiving their SS14 “Sailor Ninja” collection shortly. Visit us soon to see the craftsmanship and detailing for yourself.

Kapital Japan boro details
It’s all in the details: Kapital long sleeve t-shirt | Indigo dyed | Hand stiched boro. Currently available in store now.
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