The Japanese Concept Of ‘One-Mile Wear’: They say that despite all the clothes we own, we only wear a couple from our wardrobe. Ultimately, we want our clothes to be useful, to be worn and to be kept. When we make mindful choices about the clothes we buy, we wear them more.
Indeed, we have our moments where we need clothes for our daily 9 to 5, work and leisure events, casual brunching scenes with friends, etc. But that’s probably just a tiny percentage of the clothes you really own.
Your wardrobe might contain the basic essentials like a soft cotton shirt, an over-sized sweater, a pair of track pants or joggers to pull on – this is what the Japanese call One Mile Wear. Clothes for lazy days, the days when you’re just putting one foot in front of the other and seeing where life takes you.
One Mile Wear is clothing you wear within a mile of your home. Why? Because most people need chic, comfy clothing to run errands daily, pick up their kids and deal with life’s little moments, without any hassle. A lot of people don’t want to think too hard about an outfit that is going to be comfortable, functional and chic.
Jo Hooper, founder of NRBY (pronounced as nearby) came up with an expertly edited collection of shirts, tunic dresses, jumpsuits, and knitwear. She was inspired when a friend mentioned the Japanese concept of ‘one-mile wear’ to her.
Hooper said, “Women’s lives have changed — more of us work from home or have flexible hours. At the same time, we’ve seen a rise in informality, in how we dress, how we socialize and do business.” Her goal is that NRBY occupies the magic three inches of clothing in your wardrobe that you actually wear: ‘Your favorites; the things you go back to.’
Everlane is another brand that creates high-quality, affordable basics perfect for mixing and matching. While the company does not specifically define or market their clothes as one-mile wear, their collections share in this philosophy, with wrinkle-free and breathable fabrics that are perfect for the daily grind.
We also see a lot of celebrities, Hollywood stars, models and designers rocking the ‘one-mile wear’ look at various events. For instance, Harry Styles adorned his pajama look on stage at the O2, Selena Gomez donned hers for a shopping trip in Paris, Jamie and Jools Oliver posed with their offspring in matching rainbow-striped PJs and Woody Harrelson turned up to a Paris photocall for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 in similar attire.
We live in a country where trends like these are taken into serious consideration since not many people are supportive of sporting pajama sets out on the streets. We see grown women buying their groceries in stores and from vendors, wearing their pajamas, but there is a fine line of differentiating the lifestyles we want to lead and the ones we actually do.
Dress codes have changed and loosened over time, and people now focus on comfort more than ever but going out in the clothes you have slept in crosses the boundary of acceptability for most. Although, many brands and designers are trying to create a diffusion range and relaxed edits with versatile looks, consisting of drawstring pants and semi-fit shirts that look like pajama tops.
The Japanese concept of 'One Mile Wear' is also effectively promoting sustainable buying patterns. While one might buy three separate pairs of clothes to go out and then change to something comfortable when home, this concept encourages people to alter their buying patterns to clothes that can be worn at both nearby places and at home. The lower the buying rate the lower the demand of clothes in the market. Hence, if implemented effectively this concept although not totally, but to a large extend can solve the problem of dumping of unused clothes.
One Mile Wear, the Japanese concept aims at making fashion a part of your lifestyle instead of marking it as a status or degree of the lifestyle one leads. Moving around in a pair of clothes that can be worn within a mile’s radius of your home eases the pressure to always be in trendy clothes, change to stay in fashion and build an image in and around the social circle. The culture of one mile wear makes it an everyday affair for people to do their daily chores in the same set of clothes that they wear at home.
It also encourages and reinstates the fact that the primary purpose of clothing is comfort and easiness to do daily work. Adopting this concept in fashion culture can bring many environmental problems to slow down, especially the ones related to fashion industry. Fashion industry is one of the major polluters in the world. From unused garments dumped on land to micro plastics in water, the fashion industry has harmed the planet to a great extent. Concepts such as the One Mile Wear can help in combating these issues and also change the excessive buying behaviour of the people.
Most of us are coming around to this Japanese concept and are embracing it with ease, while others tend to struggle with carrying such ensembles due to the society we live in and their immediate environment.