COOL BIZ is not the latest J-pop band to hit the charts nor does is happen to deal with frozen foods, but actually is a fashion policy set in motion last year in Japan. Carbon Omission is on the rise in Japan, why? One of the leading factors is from the amount of air-condition used... especially in office buildings. So to help deal with this climbing greenhouse effect Japan has birthed Cool BIZ (kurubizu).
From June 1 to September 30 it is acceptable to wear cooler buisness attire. No longer are jackets and ties a must. And you can even let loose and wear a shorter sleeve shirt AND leave your first button undone (surely not you say!). The only acception to this is for important ceremonies and formal situation. Ahhhh... just in case you were wondering what Cool Biz means for women... it is suggested that they were lighter fabric and short sleeves.... they still need to wear pantyhose (I can't even begin to tell you how I hate the pantyhose).
The theory behind the fashion is that by dressing in cooler clothing you can reduce the amount of heat your body expires by almost 2 degrees. Before cool biz thermostats were set at 26.2 degrees, but now it is highly encouraged that everyone (at work and at home) keep their thermostat at no lower than 28 degrees because they are wearing less clothing. Last year was the first year this went into effect and it is estimated that over 460,000 tons of air pollution was reduced.
My Personal Opinions and Observations:
How has this affected me??? It hasn’t. My life style is a bit removed from the salary man lifestyle because...
1: I live in the sticks
2: I work in the public school systems (which almost never have air conditioning)
3: My house doesn't even HAVE airconditioning
4: I teach at an elementary school and minus the administration the only suits I see are tracksuits.
From what I understand about Japanese culture... appearance is a major thing. The way you dress says a lot about yourself (however having a mouth full of black and yellow teeth are perfectly acceptable). If you are trying to make a good impression, then you are going to be wearing the entire monkey suit no matter what the thermometer says. And since many people in Japan are just tying to blend in with the rest of the crowd and become a harmonious unit... if the boss still dresses in a jacket and tie, then it is most likely that his staff will follow suit (hahaha). So if Japan really wants Cool Biz to take hold over the people they are going to have to encourage their leaders and major heads of buisness to dress down. FYI: they have had several high-end fashion shows dedicated to this purpose.
And just to let you know... because Cool Biz was such a huge success in the retail industry... Warm Biz (uomibizu) has also been added to the fashion savvy’s vocabulary.