The concept of elevated gardening wear has a disproportionally large potential to sound like some pretentious invention that could only be functional in the fickle fashion realm. However, one under-the-radar label has managed to brand itself in the niche and oddly chic-sounding “garden attire” market without smacking of ostentatiousness. Established in 2004 with a small team of only three, Sassafras is a Japan-based label that focuses on creating garments specifically with the act of gardening in mind.
Recently, Oi Polloi -- an office favorite -- met with Takashi, the label’s founder for a quick chat about what he keeps in mind when designing gardening clothes, plus a few more gems. Takashi, who is an avid gardener in his personal life, first began to think of custom garden clothes when he realized that the old military gear he usually worked in could be updated for increased functionality. He shares, “Sassafras is a new concept that goes beyond just gardening wear. Work, military and outdoor wear all have their own unique elements, so by taking these elements, I make functionally rich clothing for use in gardening and/or various other categories. It needs to be functional, comfortable and heavy duty — with big pockets.”