Takayuki Echigoya of Bowery Blue Makers has reached out on GoFundMe in an effort to save small denim-maker, Kiyama Mills. The mill, located in Okayama, Japan, was hit hard by a typhoon last summer, and the owner, Mr. Kiyama, has been scrambling to restore the mill he’s worked in since grade school.
The floodwaters wreaked havoc on the vintage looms, most of which are around 80 years old, swelling and damaging the delicate wooden components inside and out, rendering them inoperable. Mr. Kiyama, at 78 years of age, is slowly restoring each of his 1,000 wooden shuttles by hand. Needless to say, the task is tedious, especially at his age, and the mill simply cannot function without them.
This comes hot off the heels of the news of the closure America’s historic Woolrich Woolen Mills. To learn more about how you can help restore this small mill and preserve the artisanal manufacturing, check out the complete GoFundMe here.