Under the slogan “Waste Less, Wear Longer,” SOTSOT REBIRTH sought to embody all of Kolon Sport’s eco-friendly activities. As such, the store itself incorporates the keyword of rebirth, as the adorable, pastel-pink building for SOTSOT REBIRTH was originally occupied by a hoe (sliced raw fish) restaurant. It minimized the use of finishing materials and used the original structure of the building without alterations. The renovation project was handled by Jo Nagasaka of Schemata Architects.
Furniture such as product shelves and chairs were crafted using discards collected from the sea, such as plastic buoys, which were then tied together with used mountaineering ropes. The materials were personally gathered by the store employees from beaches. (Each piece of Styrofoam on the stairway up to the second floor is marked with the location where it was picked up.)
In addition, the store also displays the photography of artist Ci KIM, who vividly captured scenes from Jeju where waste has been left discarded, as well as the works of craft artist Choi Su-yeong, who weaves items such as floor mats using leftover pieces of fabric.
SOTSOT REBIRTH only sells 100% recycled products. The first floor offers Rebirth products while the second floor displays products made by the upcycling brand Re;code. Both Rebirth and Re;code share common ground in that both utilize surplus clothing. While Re;code completely dismantles such clothing to manufacture new products, Rebirth uses relatively simpler methods such as attaching new decorations or adding layers of fabric.
The store provides limited-edition patches for sale with the aim to facilitate the long-term use of old, outdated clothes or eco-bags by re-decorating them with patches and embroidery.
There are also plans for various programs to maximize the sustainable experience, most notably the “repair and wear” program. Starting with the repair and wear program to attach patches over damaged clothes, Kolon Sport will additionally develop workshops in which customers can participate directly.
In line with Jeju’s regional characteristics, namely its temperamental climate, the store operates a rental program for Kolon Sport products such as raincoats. By renting reusable raincoats instead of disposable plastic raincoats, it allows customers to reflect on sustainability as the most topical issue.
In recent years, many corporations have begun to promote eco-friendly slogans, which are often used for “greenwashing” (disingenuous environmentalism) as mere marketing tools with little environmental contribution in practice. In this regard, an employee at Kolon commented, “The era in which companies pursued money above all else is long gone. This is an era in which even the fashion industry needs to talk about values instead of simply thinking about how to look flashy,” and added, “Re;code is a brand created by Kolon Sport around ten years ago when the awareness towards the environment wasn’t as high as it is today. The fact that we have maintained our own recycling brand for ten years should demonstrate our authenticity in itself.”In line with Jeju’s regional characteristics, namely its temperamental climate, the store operates a rental program for Kolon Sport products such as raincoats. By renting reusable raincoats instead of disposable plastic raincoats, it allows customers to reflect on sustainability as the most topical issue.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.net)
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