In the Loop – a FABulous Sustainability Event in Tokyo | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan
sustainablity event in the loop

In the Loop – a FABulous Sustainability Event in Tokyo

By Alex Gray Nov 14, 2023

Are you looking for a sustainability event in Tokyo? Somewhere to swap items you don’t use anymore? Vegan food? Or maybe you’re searching for a community that cares about the environment and the local ecosystem. Then look no more than In the Loop – a series of regular circularity events held at FabCafe in Shibuya.

What is circularity: circularity is when a “service or product is renewed or regenerated rather than wasted”. Such as a resource being reused, recycled or composted after use.

Read more to find out what I got up to in the last In the Loop in August and for more info on the upcoming Spectacular Swap Market event this week on 18th November!

Jump to each section of the article here:

  1. In the Loop Vol 4 Review
    1. Coffee Dyeing Workshop
    2. Notebook Making Workshop
    3. Taiwanese Vegan Dessert Workshop
    4. Clothing Swap with Homage Tokyo
    5. Sustainable Items and Gifts
    6. Vegan Food
  2. In the Loop – Spectacular Swap Market November 18th
    1. Clothing and Craft Supply Swap
    2. Book Swap
    3. Upcycled Kimono Hand Warmers
    4. Spectacular Swap November 18th

Stay In the Loop With This Sustainability Event

I attended the In the Loop Vol. 4 circularity-driven event in August at the innovative FabCafe Tokyo. As someone passionate about sustainability and its impact on our environment, I love this kind of event. The event included various sustainable and vegan small-business popups, DIY workshops and swap shopping! I had a great time trying out some delicious vegan food, updating my wardrobe, constructing a notebook from recycled paper, and participating in the coffee dyeing workshop! I made some great new friends, too!

Circularity-driven Workshops

Coffee Dyeing Workshop

coffee process

Image credits: FabCafe

One of the event’s highlights for me was the coffee dyeing workshop. Everyone brought something from home they wished to dye, and we got started using the “Nokori-zome” method. This “dyeing method uses the leftover material produced when processing food and plants.” To dye our fabric a beautiful rustic shade of light brown, we used leftover, clean coffee grounds from FabCafe. It’s a beautiful, sustainable and non-toxic way to dye fabric.

coffee dyeing workshop

Image credits: FabCafe

The workshop collaborator, land down under (a local denim producer), showed us how to dye our fabric and explained the processes used to help the dye stick.

It was so satisfying watching my fabric bag change colour through each run of the process!

Notebook Making Workshop

notebook making fab

Image credits: FabCafe

In this super fun pop-up workshop hosted by Value Books, I made a “Travelers Notebook” from recycled paper and repurposed Yamato Kuroneko cardboard. It was easy to make, and I’m thrilled with the result. Usually, “Travelers Notebooks” are made from leather, so I love how this one is vegan, made from all recycled products and surprisingly sturdy. It even has pockets for all your loose papers!

notebook making finish

Image credits: the author

Value Books sell used books and make notebooks from recycled novels and manga; each notebook is unique, and you can sometimes see leftover letter on the pages.

Taiwanese Vegan Dessert Workshop

taiwanese sweets

Image credits: FabCafe

One of the workshops offered at the event was the Taiwanese Vegan Dessert Workshop, led by FabCafe Taipei Creative Director Paul Yeh. During this workshop, participants had the opportunity to learn how to make a delicious vegan jelly dessert called Ai Yu (愛玉). Although I couldn’t attend this particular workshop, the outcome of the dessert looked incredibly appetizing!

Clothing Swap with Homage Tokyo

homage clothes swap

Image credits: FabCafe

I love clothes swaps! Swapping clothes or buying second-hand are always my go-to options to update my wardrobe. But it can be hard in Japan to find second-hand clothes for my body size.

The clothing swaps hosted by Homage Tokyo are frequented by a mix of Japanese and non-Japanese residents, and you can find clothes in all shapes and sizes in all kinds of styles! If you’ve never been before, I recommend checking it out! You might even fall in love with something you never thought you’d wear before.

The textile industry is one of the largest polluters in the world, so swapping clothes instead of buying them new is one way we consumers can help reduce pollution.

During the swap, I said goodbye to some items I no longer use and found new clothes for my wardrobe!

If you’d like to participate in a clothes swap, Homage Tokyo will host another one with little Community Closet at In the Loop’s next event, Spectacular Swap on 18th November.

Sustainable Items and Gifts

rus jewelery

Image credits: the author

Sustainability events with pop-ups are great places to find new businesses run by locals – you can usually talk to the owners and find out more about the reasoning behind the brand too which is extra special.

Image credits: FabCafe

In the Loop Volume 4 featured products by: denim producer land down under, digital business card creator Prairie Cards, used book and recycled notebook crafter Value Books, eco-friendly daily goods provider MiYO Organic, Little Hands Hawaii reef-safe, eco-friendly sunscreen distributor Romi, precious-metal recycled jewellery shaper Rus Jewelry, and ocean plastic recycled jeweller Novamentand!

value books

Image credits: the author

I love supporting local and small businesses when possible and buying gifts for others and myself. The delicate rings and earrings made from recycled silver by Rus Jewelry are some of my prized favourites, and I wholeheartedly recommend the reef-safe sun cream by Little Hands Hawaii.

little hands hawaii

Image credits: FabCafe

Other items include jewellery made from recycled ocean plastic, plastic-free sustainable items like toothpaste paper and more.

ocean plastic

Image credits: FabCafe

If you’d like to try these products, check out the businesses on Instagram, and you’ll find information on their next upcoming pop-ups for the winter season!

Vegan Food

joey's donuts

Image credits: the author

Eating all the delicious vegan food is always one of my favourite things about visiting sustainable events like In the Loop. As a vegan, it can be disheartening when you go to an event, and there’s nothing available on the menu, but I had no issues here! It was a vegan haven!

tempeh studio

Image credits: the author

From seriously yummy Bakewell Tart doughnuts by Joey’s Donuts, and tasty tempeh sandwiches by Tempeh Studio Tokyo, to juicy Chinese-style buns by popular cafe Shochiku-en, there was something for everyone! The food certainly did not disappoint, and I know I’ll be checking Joey’s Donuts and Tempeh Studio Tokyo for their next pop-up market appearance! Shochiku-en is a favourite; I love their birthday cakes!

A Sustainability Event That Keeps Giving

I loved every minute of the In the Loop event and greatly appreciate the opportunity it provided to bring people together who are committed to creating a more sustainable future. The great news is that there’s another one coming up very soon! And I’d love to see you there! Read on for more info!

In the Loop – Spectacular Swap Market November 18th

If you liked the sound of this event, why not visit the next In the Loop event this weekend? This time, the event will be an end-of-year swap extravaganza!

In the Loop – Spectacular Swap Market
When: Sat, November 18, 2023 11:00 – 16:00
Where: FabCafe, Shibuya
Fee: ¥500
What: a swap market where you can exchange clothes, books, ideas and more!

Sort out your closet and renew your wardrobe – it’s a perfect time to review your winter clothes and swap what you no longer wear. Got those craft supplies for the project you’re never going to start? Bring them to exchange for something else! Join the book swap and find your new favourite novel. Participate in the walk-in workshop for upcycled kimono and hand warmers.

Clothing and Craft Supply Swap – Homage Tokyo and little Community Closet

Want a new wardrobe? Homage Tokyo and little Community Closet will be hosting a combined swap – so that means all the more to choose from!

You can swap as many clothing items as you want! And it’s not just clothes. Bring your hats and hair accessories, shoes, and bags too! In this special swap, you can also bring and swap craft supplies also!

Book Swap – Tokyo Book Swap

Are you a book lover? Come swap your books and maybe find your new favourite! Meet fellow book lovers and discuss all things novel! There’s usually a generous selection of English books with some Japanese and other language options too! Books of any language and genre are welcome as long as they are in good condition!

Maria from Tokyo Book Swap hosts the swaps regularly, so if you love books and are looking for a new community, this event is for you!

Upcycled Kimono Hand Warmers – Vivat Veritas

Upcycled kimono fabrics will be available for you to make your own hand warmers in walk-in workshops throughout the day hosted by local Tokyo designer and seamstress Vivat Veritas.

Workshop cost: 1,500 per person.

Love Sustainability Events? Check out In the Loop!

If you’re interested in sustainability and looking to connect with others who share the same passion, check out In the Loop for future events hosted at FabCafe! We hope to see you there!

Next event:

Spectacular Swap Market, 18th November, 11:00-16:00, FabCafe, Shibuya

Event info link:
Event reservation link:


More reads:

For your zero-waste shopping needs

The Essential Guide to Zero Waste Shopping in Japan

Reducing plastic in Japan

Going Green: 4 Japanese Phrases to Help Reduce Plastic Waste

Find some deals through second-hand shopping

Our Top Secondhand Store Picks! The Best Truly Cheap Vintage Stores in Tokyo

Header image credit: FabCafe