If any nation has mastered the art of minimalism, it’s Japan.
Now this nation’s uber-successful MUJI chain is opening its first Canadian outpost in Toronto. What started in 1980 as a no-frills supermarket line that included food, clothing and stationary wrapped in clear cellophane has emerged into a powerhouse brand with over 7000 products and 270 worldwide locations (including NYC’s Times Square and London’s Oxford Street). Not too shabby for a company that barely advertises and shirks celebrity endorsements.
Muji design is described as ‘Kanketsu’, the Japanese concept of simplicity that aims to “bring a quiet sense of calm into strenuous everyday lives.” Lucky for us, it’s also a company that likes to keep prices low (sofas are under $400 US). If that isn’t enough to attract fans, they also have a no-waste policy that includes recycling unused materials and using very little packaging.
From understated toilet brushes and Hakuji porcelain tea pots to shrink-wrapped cotton dresses and miniature highlighters, MUJI products are so sleek and compact, they make that Scandinavian retailer we all know and love seem like shabby chic.
If all goes to plan, Canada will see its very own MUJI store open near Toronto’s Eaton Centre by Christmas and two more locations added in 2015.
To that we offer a hearty (but understated) “domo arigato”.
Check out some of the chic products you’ll find at MUJI below.
Japan’s answer to IKEA is finally coming to Canada
Shrink Wrap T-ShirtPackaged in a shrink-wrapped cube, this sustainably packaged tee will easily change up your fashion game for the better. Shrink Wrap T-Shirt, $12.95 (USD)MUJI
Organic Cotton Waffle CardiganWe just want to wrap ourselves up in this cozy cardigan and channel our inner Stevie Nicks. It's a great layering piece that you can easily wear all year round. Organic Cotton Waffle Cardigan, $59.95 (USD)MUJI
Men’s Double Jersey JacketThe simple cut of this single-breasted jacket will flatter any stylish gent and because it's made of comfy jersey, he'll never want to take it off! Men’s Double Jersey Jacket, $129.95 (USD)MUJI
Foldable Rucksack BlackNot only is this knapsack water-resistant, it also folds up into a small pouch for easy storage or packing. Foldable Rucksack Black, $59.95 (USD)MUJI
Water-Proof Case for SmartphoneNever hesitate to take your phone to the beach or use it in the rain ever again! This cool case will protect your device, and then some. Water-Proof Case for Smartphone, $29.50 (USD)MUJI
Aluminum Card CaseCarry your business cards in this modern case and make a lasting first impression on all of your new connections. However, don't be surprised if people start to wonder if you're a secret agent by night; you're just cool like that. Aluminum Card Case, $5.50 (USD)Muji
Polypropylene Desk Case - 6 DrawerThis modern and minimal desktop storage unit is perfect for tucking away all of your pens and office supplies. And the shelves can be inserted horizontally or vertically so you can customize it to perfectly fit any space. Polypropylene Desk Case - 6 Drawer, $39.50 (USD)MUJI
Box 2-Seater SofaThis simple and compact sofa made for two will add character and charm to any room. Box 2-Seater Sofa, $399.50 (USD)MUJI
Floor Chair LargePerfect for lounging, this adjustable floor chair is great for those lazy days when you just want to chill in style. Floor Chair Large, $79.95 (USD)MUJI
Toilet Brush with CaseThe functional design of this toilet brush lets you clean all of those hard to reach areas like no other, and the cover prevents any dreaded back-spray. Toilet Brush with Case, $11.95 (USD)MUJI