In this exclusive interview, the former environment minister and first female governor of Tokyo champions wool’s eco-credentials and discusses environment, what we can do now and what we have to do in the future.
“100% wool is really sustainable,” explains Gov Koike. “It is biodegradable and it lives and breathes just like human beings. it is important to give people the opportunity to think about the environment, which creates a circle that encourages them to learn more and pass the knowledge on.”
An advocate for wool and all that is gentle on the planet, Gov Koike says she believes “sustainable” is the key word for how people should live with the environment. “The actions of each individual consumer can eventually lead to a deterioration of the environment and I believe that consumer education is necessary to change this situation. In that sense, I think The Woolmark Company’s global activity protecting the precious Merino wool supply chain is fantastic.”
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike
It’s not only the promotion of an eco-friendly lifestyle that has earned Gov Koike the respect from her compatriots, it’s also her grace, style and elegance that caught the eye of the organisers for the 45th Best Dresser Awards, awarding her the prestigious Woolmark Award and acknowledging her advocacy for the natural, renewable and biodegradable fibre.
Dressed by emerging Japanese designer Eiichiro Nakai, Gov Koike accepted the award in a tailor-made pure Merino wool royal blue jacket and long black dress made from lightweight Merino wool, highlighting the superb drape and luxuriousness of the fibre.
“Trying on wool is the best way to understand it. Although we normally choose to wear wool in winter, we can also wear wool in summer if it is so fine and thin like this. I hope we can continue to enjoy the benefits of precious sheep and I am grateful for this opportunity to receive such a wonderful award today. I will continue to strive to address environmental issues going forward.”