Japanese company and designer create fashion items from recycled airbags

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Clothing made from airbags are seen. (Photo: Kazuki Nishiyama, Model: Mamadou)

TOTTORI – An auto recycling company in Tottori Prefecture, western Japan, and a fashion designer have created clothes and other fashion items from old airbags.

Auto tow truck Nishikawa Shokai Co. from Tottori City and Ryohei Kawanishi from Tottori Prefecture have teamed up to develop sustainable products and shine a light on that part of scrapped cars that has never been effectively reused. or recycled.

According to Nishikawa Shokai, although 99% of auto parts can be recycled, most airbags are made into combustion boosters used in incineration plants. And since most of the airbags in the cars brought to the company are intact, management questioned whether the durable nylon fabric of the bags themselves could be recycled. The company asked Kawanishi, who has worked in New York and elsewhere, to design clothing using nylon about three years ago.



Airbags are seen in a car in the city of Tottori on December 17, 2021. (Mainichi / Tetsuya Hirakawa)

Nishikawa Shokai removed the airbags from the vehicles, then left the design entirely to Kawanishi. Faithful to the “made in Tottori” concept, they contracted factories in the city to cut and sew the fabric. The heavy white fabric is used as is, and the resulting street styles, with their crisp stitching, have a certain unpolished look.

This is the first product development collaboration between Nishikawa Shokai, which annually collects used auto parts from some 10,000 vehicles for recycling and sale in Japan and abroad, and Kawanishi. Nine types of clothing as well as hats and nylon airbag bags are also on display at the Bingoya Super Shop in the Karocho district of Tottori.

Company executive general manager Tomohiro Nishikawa said, “We have given new life to airbags, which are in cars to protect the lives of passengers and are not used except in the event of an accident. We would like to deliver the clothes that have been designed and manufactured in Tottori to anyone who wants them. ”

Bingoya Super Shop is accepting orders from the fashion line at its Tottori branch until December 25.

(Japanese original by Tetsuya Hirakawa, Tottori Bureau)

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