In Japan, organ donation is less common than in many other countries, and there are still taboos about it. There were only 338 transplants there last year, though over 13,500 people are on a waiting list, according to the Japan Organ Transplant Network.
A new campaign tackles the topic in a light way, to make people think about organ donation without it seeming so fraught. People send in clothes that are worn but loved, so they can be "brought back to life" with patches of material from another item of clothing. The results are flashy. A simple denim button-down might get a plaid sleeve grafted onto it. Each new piece has a tag that says "My Heart is With Second Life Fashion." The service is free, and it's accepting requests globally.
An organ donation group, Green Ribbon Project Committee, teamed up with department store Sogo & Seibu Co. on the project, along with two creative directors from Dentsu in Japan, Akira Suzuki and Togo Kida.
The pair from Dentsu previously worked on a campaign called Second Life Toys, to raise awareness about the shortage of organ donors for children. That campaign took worn-out stuffed animals and patched them with pieces from other plush toys, to charming effect. A monkey's arms were grafted onto a blue bear; a deer got new hind legs from a fuzzy sheep.