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Have fun in style! Make natural and eco-friendly choices in your life

おしゃれに楽しく!生活に自然とエコな選択を

At the select shop "minimal living tokyo.", which sells household goods and cosmetics, we are particular about eco-friendliness and health, hoping that it will become commonplace to choose "fashionable and fun" eco-friendliness in our daily lives. We are expanding our products.

This time, we interviewed Eri Akai, the representative of the shop.


(NeWoman YOKOHAMA limited time pop-up [Love Action])

-Please tell us about the select shop “minimal living tokyo.”
Eri: Until recently, there were very few organic cosmetics and household goods in Japan with a zero-waste policy, and there weren't many shops selling them. In fact, some people had problems such as not knowing how to get products that are friendly to the environment and people, or not knowing how to use them, and finding it difficult to find products that suit them.

We want to reduce and improve the disposable plastic and packaging waste used for cosmetics and miscellaneous goods.
We want you to enjoy and naturally incorporate products that are easy to use while being considerate of the environment.
We want you to buy our products with confidence through our filters.

With that in mind, in 2019, in collaboration with a friend I met in Canada, I launched a select shop that offers products based on the concept of zero waste.


(Left Eri Right Saina)

-I understand that you value eco-friendliness. What made you think about environmental issues?
Eri: I lived in Vancouver, Canada for 14 years. Vancouver is called a green city, and there is no litter in the city, and the entire city is working on environmental issues. Shopping is also basically sold naked or sold by weight, and when buying food, bring your own container and get as much as you need each time. It was fun to think and choose what I needed. Having led such a sustainable life as a matter of course, and studying about sustainable fashion when I was a student, when I returned to Japan, I experienced a “reverse culture shock” from the amount of disposable garbage in Japan (laughs).

A big trigger was the Great East Japan Earthquake that occurred in 2011 while I was in Vancouver. I regularly participate in charity activities, and one year after the disaster, I participated in the removal of a large amount of debris that washed up on the Canadian coast from the disaster area. As time went by, I was shocked to see a large amount of debris reaching a distant country, and I became strongly concerned about marine pollution. I once again felt that we need a healthy global environment in order to continue our normal lives.


(Photo taken in Tofino, BC, Canada in 2013 when I was leading the Ministry of the Environment's inspection of debris caused by the 311 earthquake)

-I understand that the concept of your shop is “Zero Waste”. What is “Zero Waste”?
Eri: "Zero waste" means that it is difficult to reduce waste to zero, but it means to devise and review things from the production stage so that they do not become waste.
We also specialize in eco-friendly and sustainable products that are cyclical, such as those that can be returned to the soil and those that can be used repeatedly.

-Could you tell us about your encounter with the term “zero waste”?
Eri: After returning to Japan from Canada, I joined the Patagonia Yokohama store, which originated in the United States and has environmental conservation as its corporate philosophy. I was able to work at

At the Vancouver store, which has a sustainable concept, the staff was truly working on zero waste actions. It was here that I first encountered this word, and it remains the foundation of my life.

There was a gap between the daily work of the local staff and the Japanese staff, but it was also an important lesson. Two years after bringing back the zero waste teachings to Japan, the Yokohama store became the first apparel store in Japan to acquire the zero waste certification. I was able to do. Currently, zero-waste action is spreading at stores nationwide.

-Do you have any particular preferences when selecting products?
Eri: Basically, I select simple and eco-friendly items.
Products from manufacturers with a zero-waste policy and products with a high ratio of organic ingredients.
We do not use raw materials that burden the environment.
Vegan products that do not use animal products and are not tested on animals.
No plastic is used for the container, and it returns when buried in the soil.
It is also important to know what kind of message you want to convey through the product.

Of course, we also place importance on the feeling of use, so that even people with sensitive skin and children can use it with peace of mind, we only select products that have passed patch tests over half a year. . You can buy with confidence because this shop is trustworthy! We have products that you can think of.

-I would like to know the recommended products that are easy to incorporate among the many products.
Eri: It's a vegan dish block (solid detergent for dishes)!
A vegan-friendly dishwashing detergent made from plant-derived ingredients that has a high repeat rate due to its rich foaming and detergency. Although it is a detergent that is friendly to the environment and users, it can be used for a long time, about 2 months for regular size and about 7 to 8 months for mega size.
It works well with cellulose, loofah sponges, vegetable brushes, etc., and the detergent lasts longer.
Above all, sponges made from loofah grown without pesticides in Toyama Prefecture for 40 years can be used with confidence. This also lasts a long time and can be returned by burying it in the soil after it is no longer usable. Dishwashing detergent is something that most people use every day, so I think you can easily incorporate it.


(vegan dish block)

-“Sustainable” was also the concept of the Patagonia Vancouver store. Recently in Japan, too, the word “sustainable” has been used more and more, and I feel that interest and awareness are increasing.
Eri: I think it's a very good thing that people around the world are becoming more aware of sustainability. A hard-earned career and a dream home. Goals we want to achieve and ambitions for the future cannot be achieved by human power alone. I think it's because there's a good environment in the base. Living a sustainable life is a matter of course when considering the future global environment.

In all aspects of food, clothing, and housing, while paying attention to the environment as much as possible, while having fun making choices that suit you, you can live a happy life without straining yourself. I hope that people will realize that eco-friendly things = people-friendly by making such a life a "natural thing" and a "natural thing".

I also hope that Japanese society will become a place where people can openly share their thoughts.

-Finally, please say something.
Eri: Through the products of "minimal living tokyo.", eco-friendly and sustainable living is so much fun! It's that easy! I would be happy if you could notice it.

Buy it because you want to live an eco-friendly life! Instead, buy only what you need when you need it. And make the most of what you have now! I think this way of thinking is very important.

Knowing one thing will change your mind. What you choose will change from there. I believe that increasing the number of such people will lead to changes in the world.

Changing consciousness is a big step that everyone can do.
I want to continue to be a shop that provides opportunities for people to change their perspectives and awareness.

《minimal living tokyo.》
Instagram: here
Official website: here

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