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Kojima, Japan

Established in 2015 by Toshiaki and Yukari Watanabe, Cottle is built on the rich heritage of the Japanese textile industry. Operating from a renovated 130-year-old textile factory in Kojima — in the same historic district where the first Japanese jeans were produced — Cottle’s ethos reflects an intrinsically Japanese sense of season and aesthetics, informed by an exceptional culture of craft. 

With only three people comprising their sewing staff, every one of Cottle’s pieces is made with precision and a deep sense of care. Both Toshiaki and Yukari believe in “creating the ideas we think up with our hands.” With a fully in-house team, they are both nimble and independent — allowing inspiration to lead the way. 

Since the brand was founded, Cottle has always used natural pigments and materials to fabricate their garments. Because Toshiaki and Yukari could not find a cotton or hemp thread meeting their exacting expectations, they developed their own original thread. Cottle’s signature hemp cotton fabric has a subtle nuance that gives it a rustic finish, with the sturdiness of 100% cotton. It is a blend of old and new that is representative of Cottle’s historically-informed ethos. 

Toshiaki Watanabe explains, “High-quality garments become even better as they age. We operate under a set of values: Health, leanness, seriousness, dignity, wisdom, and manufacturing responsibly. This is the philosophy that I am always thinking of.”

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