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Japan reaches 40 ° C: they sell cooling clothing and accessories to face heat

Japan reaches 40 ° C: they sell cooling clothing and accessories to face heat

The market for cooling clothing and accessories is booming in Japan, in the face of increasingly hot summers due to global warming, coming to propose items such as ventilated jackets, cooling fabric shirts or an ice tube that is placed under the neck.

July has been the hottest month ever recorded in the Asian country, with days reaching almost 40°C.

More than 35,700 people were hospitalized and 39 died of heat stroke that same month, the Japan Fire and Disaster Management Agency warned.

A situation that the textile sector knew how to take advantage of. The ventilated jacket, with two mini fans placed in the lower back areahas conquered the Japanese public.

Before, it was only intended for a specific clientele, that of construction workers.

“With increasingly hot weather, people who have never used them are looking for a way to cool down, and more and more want to buy them,” explains Yuya Suzuki, public relations manager for the Japanese brand Workman.

The company, specialized in work clothes, launched a new version of the precious garment in 2020, so that everyone can use it. Its price ranges from 12,000 to 24,000 yen ($81 to $160), depending on the different rechargeable battery models.

Another Japanese company, Chikuma, even went so far as to incorporate mini fans into business suitsa, designed to be worn “in places where casual clothing is not allowed,” Yosuke Yamanaka, a representative of the company, told AFP.

Innovate at high temperatures

The company MI CreationsInstead, bet on frozen tubes of different colors that are placed under the neck. The tool is more innovative than it seems. “There are arteries located in the neck and by cooling them we can lower body temperature,” explains Nozomi Takai, the company’s commercial representative.

Thanks to a pentagonal-shaped inner contour, the tube adapts “to all neck sizes”, he adds.

Its content — a liquid that solidifies at 18 degrees — “can maintain a constant temperature, neither too hot nor too cold,” he continues.

Another company, called Liberta, offers clothing with a cooling effect, such as T-shirts and arm warmers made from cloth.

The fabric is made with organic components, which cause a sensation of cold when they react to water or sweat.

“The freshness is noticeable while the fabric remains wet,” explains Momo Shirota, Liberta’s public relations manager, who is seeing sales of her garments “shoot up”.

”Heat strokes can be suffered even at home. That is why we have put pajamas and jinbei on sale [prenda tradicional japonesa que suele usarse en verano]Shirota adds.

men with umbrellas

While some consumers opt for innovative objects, others resort to more traditional methods, such as umbrellaswhich are becoming popular even among men.

The trend is due, among others, to a recommendation launched in 2019 by the Japanese Ministry of the Environmentthat encouraged the population to use them to avoid heat stroke.

Until now, men have been “ashamed” to wear them, as the accessory was long associated with skin-conscious women, explains Hiroyuki Komiya, manager of Komiya Shoten, a luxury umbrella shop in Tokyo.

For four years now, the shop has also been making small umbrellas for men.

In the traditional Asakusa neighborhood of Tokyo, 42-year-old Kiyoshi Miya decided to use his black umbrella as a sunshade.

“It’s better than having nothing: it’s a little cooler, it allows me to get out,” he told AFP.

Others prefer portable fans, already widespread in Japan, without necessarily being completely satisfied.

“It makes the situation a bit more bearable, but it doesn’t fix everything” as temperatures rise, sighs 21-year-old Shoma Kawashima.

Source: Gestion

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