The unique beauty of natural fiber jute bags, which contain internationally sourced coffee beans, is highly admired in Europe. Unfortunately, these bags are often thrown away as soon as the coffee beans are gone.
This waste shocked me so much that in July 2009 I began a project to upcycle the jute bags into attractive, sturdy, waterproof products under the brand name, KISSACO.
While it was difficult to find partners initially, now many cafes and coffee firms are kindly supplying me with nearly 1,000 jute bags per year, in support and empathy with KISSACO’s ecologically sound mission and quality products.
The SATOGAERI Project, which means homecoming, has been part of this for quite some time and is designed to return these newly improved jute bags to the coffee farms from which they first came.
These coffee growers from Guatemala, Panama, Brazil, Hawaii, Colombia, Indonesia, East Timor, and others, are astonished at the transformation of the rough jute bags into objects of beauty.
When they ask how this was possible, I reply, “This is because of the skill of Japanese craftsmen who have carefully polished and painted the jute by hand.”
KISSACO products were, and continue to be, proudly MADE IN JAPAN.
As we upcycle these jute bags, we hope that great Japanese skills and craftsmanship continue to flourish, and that these simple jute bags, reborn by talented Japanese artisans, find their way around the world to make someone, somewhere a little happier.
Designer / yuri okamoto