From being Japan’s first anime ambassador and cuddliest hero in Asia, Doraemon sheds his signature blue and goes green, stepping in as global sustainability ambassador for fashion.
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Doraemon is everywhere as of late, and with good reason, too.
Ever since embedding itself into the consciousness of Japanese children through the first introduction of the beloved character in the manga penned by Fujiko Fujio (otherwise known as the duo, Hiroshi Fujimoto and Motoo Abiko) in January 1970, the robotic cat has persisted through the often-petulant parameters of time, just as it has in the illustrated series turned hypnotic anime, eventually becoming a cultural cornerstone. We all know how the story goes: Sent from the 22nd century to help a constantly challenged young boy, Doraemon would help Nobita navigate his daily adventures with a nifty four-dimensional pouch chock full of gadgets from the future, often opposite of the desired outcome. However, even as the dynamic duo would bungle through their mishaps, it all works out in the end–seamless integration of morals included.
From being a sidekick that inadvertently mothers Nobita from time to time, Doraemon has stepped in many roles since then. With the enduring production of the animated series (over 900 episodes and counting in more than 60 countries), the bumbling blue-tinted mechanized feline has amassed over 2000 consumer products in Asia, 45 volumes of comic books with more than 100 million copies sold, and 36 films released as of now. In fact, Doraemon has become so popular and central to Japan that it was named its first anime ambassador and hailed as the cuddliest hero in Asia by Time magazine.
The Domination Of Doraemon
Stepping beyond the bounds of print, animation, and Japan, the domination of Doraemon continues by infiltrating the collaboration and nostalgia-obsessed context we are all too familiar with these days. Charming its way into the fashion, the fragment of the world that often thinks of itself too highly and too seriously, the playful character was a perfect fit for the signature quirk of Alessandro Michele and Gucci, figuring in a hard-to-miss 50-piece inclusion for its mid-2020 collection entitled, Epilogue.
It doesn’t stop there, of course, because to celebrate Chinese New Year, Gucci splashed the iconic darling in its timely campaign featuring special items, this time dressed up as an ox.
Expanding its reach even further, Doraemon has inspired musicals, video games, and naturally, licensed merchandise that has amounted to billions of dollars in 2016 alone. So, with its incomparable and unparalleled cultural impact and legacy, what else has Doraemon not been part of? Well, something related to sustainability apparently, which wasn’t for too long, because just recently, the famed character swapped its signature blue for a fresh coat of green as a global sustainability ambassador in fashion.
Doraemon Goes Green
“I’ll do my best as Uniqlo Global Sustainability Ambassador to help create a much brighter future,” says Doraemon in a statement. “I want to work with you all, so we can make people everywhere more interested in the future of our world!” Joining the ranks of Roger Federer, Kei Nishikori, Shingo Kunieda, Gordon Reid, Ayumu Hirano, and Adam Scott, Doraemon is set to take the brand’s sustainability initiatives farther with an all-encompassing appeal across the world. It makes sense too, because having traveled back in time, presumably aware of what has become of the world in the future, the newly minted global sustainability ambassador is set to underscore the message of changing the future through the power of clothing in this all too important initiative.
“We are delighted to partner with Doraemon,” says Koji Yanai, Group Senior Executive Officer, Fast Retailing. “Over the past two decades, Uniqlo has undertaken numerous sustainability initiatives through business to contribute to a better, more sustainable world. We believe that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, social transformations, and evolving consumer attitudes make it more important than ever to collaborate with customers and other stakeholders in driving positive social change,” he furthers, also highlighting the brand’s longstanding commitment to social progress and sustainability through its centralized efforts over the years.
Back To The Future
Considering how the concerns and shifted focus of the world today, going green through the sustainability efforts of fashion seems to be the logical next step for an enduring figure such as Doraemon. In the continuing evolution and endurance of the legacy that has been embraced by children and the young-at-heart, this is the best practice of affection for the cuddliest hero we have all come to love. Just like Nobita has done in the series, we now have someone like Doraemon to turn when we want to ease and further delve into the intricacies of sustainability in style.
Who would have thought that Doraemon would be quite the muse for fashion? Perhaps not for Sewasha Nobi, the future descendant that sent the plump and earless cat-like robot to the fictional past of the narrative, but here we are. And we won’t have it any other way either.
CONTINUE READING: IN ITS SUSTAINABLE EFFORTS, IS FASHION REALLY CHANGING THE ALARMINGLY WASTEFUL WAYS OF THE PAST?