A Third World brand shining brightly in world-class Ginza


Ginza×CSR・CSV Vol. 38 will introduce MOTHERHOUSE. Since its establishment in 2006, it has communicated to the world the potential that a developing country has through the “creation” of leather and products in Bangladesh under the philosophy: “We spotlight the potential of developing countries through our products to establish an international brand.” In this volume, we interviewed Mr. Haruyuki Oda, Marketing and Public Relations Manager of the Communication Design Unit and Mr. Ren Nishiya, Regional Store Manager (Ginza Area) on how they have been inspired by Ginza, where they opened their long-sought Ginza Store in August 2020.

Stories from six countries come together at the Ginza Store

  • ─ You have a lovely store. The colorful products light up beautifully in the sunlight. The softness makes me feel as if I was in nature.
  • Nishiya:
    Designed by architect Terunobu Fujimori, this space has been created using a great amount of natural materials. We used straw in the plaster wall and jute in the floors, Jute is a material that we have been working with since our establishment.

    That object is a combination of the “van,” a bicycle-like cart that is used to transport leather, and Fujimori-san’s moss tower, symbolizing the relationship between Japan and Bangladesh.

    At the Ginza Store, customers can see the entire lineup of our products, from leather products to jewelry and apparel, as well as what we are about and what we care about.

Mr. Ren Nishiya, Regional Store Manager (Ginza Area)


The Ginza Store, opened in August 2020


A marriage of “van” and moss tower.

  • ─ Beginning in Bangladesh, you now manugfacture your products in six different countries.
  • Nishiya:
    In Bangladesh we make bags and smaller leather items using the unique local leather and jute. In Nepal, we manufacture stoles using natural threads, including silk, wool and cashmere. In Indonesia, we make fine jewelry depicting delicate designs using the filigree technique from Jogjakarta, and in Nepal, jewelry using colorful gems.

    We also use Burmese rubies of the highest purity and handspun and handwoven Indian gadi, a textile that is known by the name “Fabric of Freedom”.

    The Ginza Store features products made in all six countries.

Leather products manufactured in Bangladesh.


Cashmere and silk stoles made in Nepal.


e. (e-dot): a brand produced by Eriko Yamaguchi, CEO and Chief Designer.

  • 西谷:
    For example, this Burmese ruby comes from a highly pure gemstone found in marble. Almost 90% of rubies on the market have been heat-treated for a more vibrant color. At MOTHERHOUSE, our rubies are untreated, so that the natural beauty of the gemstones can be enjoyed. We have also developed original diamond cuts.

Untreated natural Burmese rubies.

スリランカ産の2色の宝石を組み合わせた「Day and Night Shizuku」シリーズ

The ”Day and Night Shizuku” series using Sri Lankan gems of two different colors.

Understanding the times and creating new values

  • ─ As as “international brand from the developing world.” MOTHERHOUSE has advocated new values through “mono-zukuri,” or manufacturing.
  • Oda:
    Entering the “With Corona” era, we have had many discussions on where we were headed within our company. For example, the very slim “Minimatou” collection was created in response to the changing times.

    COVID-19 has changed the way we work and the way we possess things. “Minimatou” has become a popular item in these new times.
  • 西谷:
    We have also released the RINNE series, remade from recovered used leather bags. It is a part of our Social Vintage program, under which we demonstrate how products can be used over a long period of time through care and repair. We have always offered repair services, but with RINEE, we are very conscious about the value people will discover when products are reborn as new products.

    Each product comes in a different shade. It arouses that special feeling of having something that is one-of-a-kind that you will never find anywhere else in the world.
コミュニケーションデザイン部門マーケティング・広報 マネージャーの小田靖之さん

Mr. Haruyuki Oda, Marketing and Public Relations Manager
Communications Deisgn Unit


”RINNE” – one-of-a-kind items made from recycled leather

  • Oda:
    To customers who bring in their used bags for recycling we offer “social points” that can be used for discounts worth 1,500 yen, accompanied by a donation of 1,000 yen to improve public health in developing countries.

    This is a form of “mono-zukuri” that we seek to achieve, bringing together the voices of our customers who are reluctant to throw away their favorite items and our corporate ideals to wisely circulate our precious raw materials. We hope to increase such products and services in the future.
  • ─ Although you may have had limited opportunities this year due to COVID-19, you invite local manufacturers to Japan, showing your appreciation for creating forums of exchange between customers and producers.
  • 小田:
    We find much potential in fostering “connections.” Our eleven business locations around the world are connected together under the name MOTHERHOUSE.

    We establish local corporations and communicate directly with the local workers at our local factories. We believe that building environments where each individual can make products that they themselves can be satisfied with leads to good “mono-zukuri.”

    We wish to make each workplace, factory and store a “second home.”

    We hope that people will come to the Ginza Store to explore the unique and engaging space that we have here.

Local craftsmen. MOTHERHOUSE invites local manufacturers to Japan to hold an event at its stores .


An Indian artisan weaving textile using traditional techniques.

Communicating our passion from Ginza

  • ─ I was touched by how Ms. Eriko Yamaguchi, CEO and Chief Designer talked about opening the Ginza Store with tears in her eyes on YouTube. Please tell me how we you feel about Ginza.。
  • Nishiya:
    In the first catalogue that we compiled after our establishment, we included an illustration that connected Ginza and Dhaka. That shows how strongly we looked at Ginza as one of our goals from the very beginning.

    This space is full of dreams. It was only possible with the efforts of Yamaguchi-san and craftsmen, as well as our customers who have supported us.

    Ginza is home to many high-end brand shops and has many customers who know the very best. It is a special excursion just to visit the area. In these times, we hope to take on new challenges through the Ginza Store and communicate our ideas and new values through our products and services.
西谷 廉
Regional Store Manager (Ginza Area), MOTHERHOUSE Co., Inc.

Ren Nishiya

Born in Hyogo Prefecture in 1993, Mr. Nishiya graduated from the Department of International Policy Studies, School of Policy Studies, Kwansei Gakuin University. After experiencing internships in Malaysia and Zambia as a student, he became concerned about how differences in nationalities, religious, and where someone grew up lead to unconscious discrimination and prejudices. Wishing to pursue a career that would involve communicating the potential that people possess and connecting people with other people, he joined MOTHERHOUSE just after graduating from university in 2017. He has worked as Store Manager are two other stores before the Ginza Store,.
小田 靖之
Mr. Haruyuki Oda, Marketing /Public Relations / Intern Recruitment Manage, MOTHERHOUSE Co.,

Haruyuki Oda

Born in Ueno, Tokyo in 1979. Inspired by the environment and lifestyle of California, which he visited for the first time as a junior high school student, he went to university in California from the age of 19 to 23 while working at jobs on movie sets. He developed an interest in art, photography, and fashion. After returning to Japan, he was employed in the photography industry but left his job after one month, as he came to question the industrial structure and the way people worked. After experiencing apps development and starting a think-tank in Nagatacho, he launched his own business at the age of 25 with the aim of bringing into the world what he sought to create. Beginning with a company specializing in gifts, he launched various businesses, including those in advertising, food services, apps development, and school management. After ten years, feeling lost in terms of his connection to society and who his business or work was helping, he sold his company to a friend, when he happened to meet MOTHERHOUSE. After working for six months as a store staff, he is currently in charge of marketing, public relations and recruiting interns. He is also a father of three children.
今井 麻希子

Makiko Imai

alterna http://www.alterna.co.jp Having worked for several foreign IT firms, Imai shifted the target of her work to environmental and social issues after participating in the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 10) to the Convention on Biological Diversity as an NGO memb er. She currently conducts interviews, edits and writes articles, develops educational programs and offers interactive counselling sessions.

Written by: Makiko Imai / Planned and edited by: alterna

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