Tuesday, 4 June 2013


Following the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, the shutdown of many nuclear power plants for safety reasons led to energy shortages. To conserve energy, the Japanese government recommended setting air conditioners at 28 degrees Celsius, switching off computers not in use, and called for shifting work hours to the morning and taking more summer vacation than usual. 

The government then launched a "Super Cool Biz" campaign to encourage workers to wear outfits appropriate for the office yet cool enough to endure the summer heat. 

The Cool Biz dress code advises workers to starch collars so they stand up and to wear trousers made from materials that breathe and absorb moisture. Additionally, workers are encouraged to wear short-sleeved shirts without jackets or ties. Many workers, though, were confused about whether they should follow the new stipulations—many came to work with their jackets in hand and their ties in their pockets. June 1 marked the start of the Environment Ministry's Super Cool Biz campaign, with "full-page newspaper ads and photos of ministry workers smiling rather self-consciously at their desks wearing polo shirts and colorful Okinawa kariyushi shirts." The campaign was repeated in 2012, and it is repeated again this summer! So why just Japan? LET'S SUPER COOLBIZ!

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