The Nepenthes collective houses brands like Needles, Engineered Garments and South2 West8.
South2 West8 was founded in Sapporo, one of Japan’s most northerly cities, on the island of Hokkaido. As a product of Hokkaido, the brand’s DNA is explicitly outdoors-based, as Hokkaido’s history is starkly different from the rest of Japan.
In contrast with the mainland, where farming culture thrived, until about 2000 years ago, Hokkaido resisted the pushes and pioneered creative ways to hunt and fish. The Jomon people, whose culture was followed by the Ainu, were fiercely resistant to trading with the mainland, and resisted Japanese colonialisation.
In 2022, living members of the Ainu culture are few and far between, but Hokkaido’s love of fishing and hunting hasn’t vanished. Founded in 2002, and headed by Kaname Nagaoka, South2 West8’s inspiration is largely from Tenkara fly fishing, with pieces inspired by technical fishing details.
Recent releases offer more city-ready options inspired by outdoor enthusiasm.