On June 3rd, the TV show “ZIP!” by Nippon TV, one of the most well-known morning news programs in Japan, featured our app “mamoru” leading to the TV debut of our app.
Recently people worldwide have been showing more and more interest in the SDGs and sustainable living, and Japan is no exception. The national SDGs movement is snowballing, collecting the interest of people all over Japan. Riding this wave of popularity, Nippon TV (NTV) released a week-long feature project called the “Good For the Planet” campaign from May 31 to June 6. During this week, NTV broadcasted a variety of programs introducing sustainability-related projects or segments educating viewers about the SDGs.
In the 3rd episode of “Mito-log,” the popular reporter, Asami Miura, demonstrated the usage of mamoru by visiting sustainability-focused shops in the Tokyo Area.
Using the app to find a store in the area, Miura first visited the store “Ame” in Minato ward. This store sells trendy, handmade accessories, decorations, and more, all made of recycled plastics.
Their products reuse plastics such as the plastic parts that are cut off while producing plastic bottles. These plastics are usually thrown away without even being used once. To avoid this kind of waste, Ame uses these parts and other parts to create their products.
Their usage of waste plastics ensures that they are being reused instead of being thrown away. Enhancing plastics’ characteristics, such as cleanliness, pop colors, and durability, Ame’s products have a unique modern flair.
Miura also tried on a pair of particularly well-selling earrings in "uruoi” (moisture) style and was surprised by its lightness for being larger than normal earrings. Finally, the shop presented her with nameplate ornaments showing her own name “Asami” and the program's name “ZIP!”, as a final surprise.
Secondly, Miura visited another spot on mamoru, the clothing store “Equaland,” located in Shibuya. “Equaland” is a store in mamoru’s “ethical fashion” and “natural/organic” categories.
Their clothes are dyed with natural botanicals such as beets, ginger, and cinnamon. They also focus on using local and traditional Japanese materials, producing gender-free fashion that is accessible for everyone.
The program also used mamoru’s information to introduce one more clothing store whose “Washi paper mask” was featured. This particular kind of face mask is by “Underson Underson” in Shinjuku ward.
Similar to masks, they use traditional Japanese paper material or “washi” to produce lingerie, everyday clothing, and more. Thanks to the characteristics of the material, their clothing and the masks are incredibly soft and comfortable to wear.
Another pin on the mamoru's app led Miura to the select shop "style table" in Shinjuku. At this store, shoppers can find products that are good for people's health and beauty, and also good for the planet.
During the program, style table's "carrot bagna càuda sauce" was introduced as an example. This sauce is made from carrots considered "unsellable" because of irregularities in their shape, size, etc.
Among various products, shop manager, Hashioka, strongly recommended grass straws. Miura tried the straws and commented that the straw did not affect the taste of the water but that the texture of the straw felt good.
Miura is well known for being one of Japan’s most passionate TV personality foodies, and it was no surprise that she picked up the store’s caramelized almonds. According to Miura, the almonds, a fair trade product, are so delightful that it is difficult to stop eating them once you’ve started.
Finally, Miura used mamoru to discover a cafe in Suginami city, “Kawasemi Pipelettes,” which opened last May. This cafe practices zero waste and serves dishes made with local and seasonal ingredients, including vegetables, honey, and eggs.
The chef and manager, Blanchard, used Miura’s visit to address the importance of eating local produce. It reduces CO2 emissions compared to buying products from outside of your area that need to be transported long distances to consumers.
Miura ordered the menu item “kisetuno hobo veggie plate, ” a plate featuring seasonal vegetables. While enjoying her meal, Miura commented that knowing that it was made of local produce only helped her appreciate the dish even more!
Introducing mamoru and these five places can definitely help viewers think about their actions for the planet and what everyday people can do for sustainable living. Of course, people might be wondering what was the motivation behind the app, so during the segment, Miura also interviewed and introduced the founder of mamoru, Philip Nguyen, who hopes that the app can help more people take easy action in their daily lives to protect the planet.
Below are Philip’s comments on the interview with Asami Miura: “Looking back, I feel so grateful for the interview with Asami Miura, who gave our team a chance to share what we have been working so hard on for the past several months.
I’m not good at public speaking or at doing interviews, so before the interview, I was quite nervous. What made me extra nervous was finding out who Asami Miura was. I don’t have a TV in my home and don’t watch TV, so I had not seen ZIP! and didn’t know about Asami Miura. After telling friends about who the interviewer was, they all said that she’s big, so I looked her up (which I shouldn’t have) and was just nervous all the way until the day of the interview.
Luckily, during the interview, Asami was very kind and easy to talk to. She could understand a little bit of English as well which made me feel more comfortable. We had an interpreter during the interview, but still she spoke some English and asked some short questions in English as well. We talked for about 20 minutes or so, about my background, why I started the app, my thoughts on SDGs in Japan, and my future plans for the app. I was very impressed by her interviewing skills!
Watching her using the app and visiting the stores to promote sustainable living and the stores’ sustainable initiatives makes me more motivated and optimistic that anyone can take action for sustainability. We still have a lot of work to do to achieve a sustainable society, but with the support from people like Asami Miura, I feel more confident that it can be achieved.”
The team at mamoru would like to convey our deepest, heartfelt gratitude to Asami Miura, the collaborating TV crew, and the shops and their teams featured in the program. Thank you for choosing to work with us. We are immensely grateful for everyone’s support!
We will continue to work hard to expand the mamoru app and make it more useful for everyone to easily take action for sustainability.
Underson Underson Shinjuku