Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman, The Nippon Foundation
Ocean debris has become an international problem. Discarded fishing nets account for a large portion of this debris, and we have been searching for a long time to find a way to reuse these nets. Today, thanks to the Hyogo Prefecture Bag Industry Association, it has become possible to make fashionable bags from discarded nets. I look forward to working together with many diverse companies going forward, to pool our expertise to resolve issues together.
Shinjiro Koizumi, Minister of the Environment
I am already a fan of Toyooka bags made from discarded fishing nets. At the Ministry of the Environment, we are putting great effort into reducing ocean debris. We are supporting this project to promote new initiatives around the world to address environmental issues. Through upcycling, we can add value to discarded items and make them more valuable than the original item.
Shozaburo Yuri, Chairman, Hyogo Prefecture Bag Industry Association
The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are well known in Europe and the Americas. Japanese companies are also beginning to learn that they cannot simply sell products, but need to address sustainability as well. Our association feels a great sense of responsibility, and that is why we developed these bags made from discarded fishing nets. The use of different shades of blue as a common color is meant to show our desire to make a contribution to the reduction of ocean debris. The artisans who make Toyooka bags will continue to aim to make bags that people will want to use for a long time and not be quickly discarded.