With bling on the decline in this age of austerity, what replaces the shiny objects that used to excite our imagination? Muji seems to have the right design aesthetic for our times, and with their “new” recycled line, they are appealing to our eco-consciousness. A Japanese company, Muji is known for its philosophy focused on simplicity and smart use of innovative materials, processes, and packaging.
Rather than throw away excess materials, Muji brings their design method to the factory floor, ensuring that any excess material is put back into the production process. They achieve a sleek, modern look with recycled and re-used materials: hand-blown vases made from recycled glass, bedlinens, slippers and t-shirts made form reused yarn and paper files made form recycled Japanese milk cartons. At the same time each item serves a purpose, in a humble and clever way that appeals to our current sensibility.
Muji’s look is the branding of no branding. In fact, according to their statement of the future, available on their website, “Muji is not a brand, Muji creates products with a view toward global consumption of the future.” Their philosophy is a prescription for how we can re-think the role of consumption in our lives: “we would like our customers to feel the rational sense of satisfaction that comes not with ‘this is best,’ but with ‘this is enough.’”