Tuesday, November 21, 2006

It's a bra! It's a bag!


Lingerie manufacturer Triumph International Japan has unveiled a new type of brassiere that can be converted into a shopping bag. Called the “No! Shopping Bag Bra” (NO! reji-bukuro bra), the environmentally-friendly lingerie is designed to promote the reduction of plastic bag consumption, a key objective of the revised Containers and Packaging Recycling Law hammered out by Japanese lawmakers in June.

Each year, Japanese shoppers receive an estimated 30 billion plastic shopping bags, which, in terms of the oil resources needed to produce them, amounts to two giant tankers full of oil (millions of barrels). About 30% of these bags are thrown away without being reused, and since the consumption of plastic shopping bags contributes to environmental problems such as increased energy usage, trash buildup, and global warming due to CO2 released in the garbage incineration process, there are urgent calls to reduce their usage.

When the bra is being worn, the “shopping bag” portions are folded away inside the bra cups, where they serve as extra padding. The bra quickly converts to a shopping bag by removing the bag portions from the cups and connecting the hooks on the bra’s underwire. The lace cups serve as decoration along with the shoulder straps, which are disconnected and tied to the top of the bag as ribbons.

The bra — available in red, blue, green, yellow and pink — is made from the Teijin Group’s ECOPET brand of polyester fiber, which has been recycled from plastic bottles through the company’s patented EcoCircle recycling system.

Triumph International Japan has a long history of developing eco-themed bras, with such creations as the Recycle PET Bra (1997), Eco-globe Bra (2004) and Warm Biz Bra (2005).

[Source: Triumph International Japan via Slashdot Japan]

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