Natural indigo by Buaisou

This April, we had the privilege of visiting Buiasou, based in Tokushima prefecture, Japan. Buaisou is an indigo farm, focussing on all the different processes involved in producing and working with natural indigo dye.

How we met
Last year we were introduced to Buaisou by our mutual friend Risa Nakazawa from A-Gent Tokyo. Our oldest son, Spike, was offered the opportunity to participate in a workshop at Buaisou, learning about the indigo dye process and concluding the workshop with a custom-made pair of jeans. In April, during our pop-up shop at Tsutaya Books Daikanyama, we also got to visit the farm where Buaisou grows their indigo plants, from seedlings in early spring to full plants in summer when harvesting takes place. The farm also houses their dye workshop, a sewing room and their office.

Buiasou indigo dye
Mrs Kyoko, the general manager at Buaisou showed us all the different parts of the farm and the many processes involved. Buaisou intends to bring back a craft or traditional method that used to be common in this district, the hometown of Japanese indigo.

What immediately stood out was the vibrant intensity of the different shades of blue in this natural indigo. The dye emerges from a labour-intensive journey from seed to plant. Once the plant reaches full growth, its leaves are dried and fermented. This fermentation yields the raw material for indigo, known as 'Sukumo'. Combined with oat flakes, purified water, and wood ash, this Sukumo forms the foundation of the final dye. 

Mizuno & Buaisou
Following our visit, Buaisou introduced us to Mizuno, the Japanese sports brand founded in 1906 (!). Buaisou and Mizuno have an exciting project lined up for the Paris Olympics 2024. They asked to use our warehouse and office space in Rotterdam to prepare the indigo dye for their Paris workshop. We of course embraced this opportunity to facilitate such an incredible collaboration. Witnessing the authentic process of creating Japanese indigo at this level is truly magical.

We look forward to documenting the activities in our warehouse this July. From Japan to Paris, via Rotterdam. From Buaisou to Mizuno, via the Oostzeedijk. As big supporters, we are thrilled to facilitate a small part of this beautiful project and look forward to what the future holds. Watch this space! 

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