In recent years, there has been a big movement towards the minimalism, where people strive to live in a simple manner with the minimum items, all around the world including Japan. The words like 'danshari (means minimize)' and 'konmari' methods are widely shared values in Japan. They form a part of the movement which make people to realize or re-think what abundance or wealth should be meant in our life. This movement is not only beneficial from the ecological point of view, but can also be said as a counterculture against the existing capitalist economy that is ruled by greed and the existence of excessive products.
However, post-war Japan was a different case all together where people literally had nothing at all. In such a world where nothing exists, items can be sold immediately upon creation. Due to this reason, the mass production - consumption business model was what successfully reconstructed Japan economically after World War Two. This model aimed to achieve economic growth by selling products quickly and at a low cost to a large consumer base with the power of manufacturing, but has since collapsed.
We were way too indifferent about the resulting effects of this model.The slipper industry in Japan is one of the examples on how it has impacted us.The manufacturers of slippers brought in many industrial and large-scale equipment with the aim to produce slippers in larger quantities, at a faster pace and at a lower cost. With the focus being on speed, quantity and price, quality and design were neglected and hence resulted in a decrease in slipper prices.
However, the manufacturers are still not satisfied and came up with the idea to utilize cheaper labor outside of Japan in order to beat the existing price competition. These prices are astonishingly low and were sold in the market at close to a dollar off the usual price. Many manufacturers and factories that stuck to using local labor were naturally forced to go out of business.
Is the well-off lifestyle that we were aiming to create in the reconstruction of post-war Japan meant to be plagued with price competition and create suffering for manufacturers? We don't believe so.
The values that we really want to share are respect towards the manufacturers with their high quality materials and production processes, as well as designs that are created with care towards the individuality and diversity of each and every customer.
Japanese slippers are designed to serve as a form of communication between people from different cultures.
We, Heiwa Slipper, value the cultural background and history of the slippers in Japan, instead of trying to win the price competition.