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Kyoto artisans grant old clothes new life with traditional black dye

Stains, fading, an out-of-date color — clothes can end up unworn before they're worn out. To save them from being tossed, Kurozome Rewear offers a garment dyeing service. The only color on offer is black, but this isn't just any black.

Kurozome Rewear is an offshoot of Kyoto Montsuki, which has been working with textiles since 1915. The shop's specialty is black montsuki, a traditional piece of Japanese formalwear. Using old techniques that include multiple rounds of dyeing cloth and letting it dry in the sun, Kyoto Montsuki's artisans are able to create a deep black color that reflects as little light as possible.

In response to customer demand, Kurozome Rewear now offers their time-tested method for anyone's used shirts, jackets, pants and dresses. Prices range from JPY 2,750 (USD 19) for a cotton t-shirt to JPY 14,300 (USD 101) for a long woolen coat. Kurozome Rewear claims the dyes it uses are safe enough for babies to put in their mouths.

Trend Bite

Shoppers are increasingly likely to make sustainability part of their purchasing decisions. Or their decisions not to purchase. Dyeing clothes at home has long been an option for creative and thrifty folks, but Kurozome Rewear provides a pro solution that's blacker than DIY and less likely to fade when washed. Fashion brands: time to start offering premium dyeing as a lifespan-extending service alongside repairs?