photo credit: Stephanie McLeod
The end of the year is approaching around the corner. I’ve started thinking about Christmas and gifting. It’s the time for a seasonal merry-go-round again.
We still create tonnes of single-use wrapping waste over the festive season. Only a fraction of wrapping products are recyclable. It’s estimated that about half of what we use in the UK ends up in landfill.
My brand ma space design was established in 2020 with a vision to reduce the single-use wrapping packages, completely change the art of gift-giving and revitalise ancient Japanese tradition by introducing the Japanese Furoshiki culture.
In Japan, gift-giving is a part of the practice of life with thoughtfulness.
Furoshiki was originally called Tsutsumi, 包 meaning ‘wrap’. The word 包 its ancient characters are shaped like a pregnant woman. Wrapping objects in fabric became culturally associated with this metaphor of caring and compassion. It is not just handing something to someone. Making the experience of receiving the gift joyful is part of Japanese gift-giving culture.
In the modern age, Furoshiki has become part of Japanese people’s everyday life. As well as wrapping gifts, people used them for carrying their belongings, trading products, picnics to books.
The use of Furoshiki has faded since the 1970s with the introduction of plastic and paper bags, wrapping paper and luggage. Although the use of Furoshiki continued in formal ceremonies such as weddings and funerals.
When I give my non-Japanese friends something wrapped in Furoshiki, they always give something back wrapped in the same cloth. Even if it’s seasonal fruits or vegetables, it’s the gesture, the intention that matters. It created a small network of appreciation among my friends. This is what I want to create with the Furoshiki revolution in a modern context. A message of goodness you pass on with Furoshiki.
Join the Furoshiki revolution from this Christmas by wrapping your presents with unused scarves or any nice fabrics you can find. Explain that the receiver must wrap your next gift in the same fabric. Then the fabric will be reused every year and you will reduce so much waste in the future!
ABOUT TOMOKO’S BOOK
Her book Furoshiki: And the Japanese Art of Gift Wrapping guides the reader through 30 exquisite yet easy styles from basic wrapping to the most elegant techniques and offers access to video content where she demonstrate each wrap.
photo credit: Olivia Bennett