Furoshiki: Green Gift Wrapping

Happy Holidays everyone!

Want to wrap your holiday gifts in a sustainable way without resorting to reusing newspaper? Don’t get me wrong… I love wrapping gifts with the funny pages section of the newspaper, but this year I’m going to Furoshiki my gifts.

Furoshiki is a traditional cloth used in Japan to wrap clothes, gifts, or other goods. It was also often used to wrap up a bento box and chopsticks, and often double as a table mat for the meal. It was also used to bundle and protect people’s clothing at public bath houses in Japan. However, with the onset of the modernized world, much of Japan has followed suit with our throw-away culture and are beginning to use plastic grocery bags instead.


Today, many people around the world are beginning to use Furoshiki as an eco-friendly way to wrap gifts. The basic concept: folding a large piece of fabric in a variety of ways to create a neatly wrapped gift that won’t unfold the moment you pick it up. You don’t have to buy new fabric… just reuse some scrap material from around your home.

Below is a diagram of the most common wrapping methods. It may take a couple tries to get them looking as good as the photos, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you’re done. Want someone to show you step-by-step instructions? Check out Furoshiki on YouTube. Really getting into it? Check out the e-book Gift Wrapping: Creative Ideas from Japan for more ways to get wrapping.

Your friends and family will be amazed at how beautifully their gift has been wrapped. And when the gift has been opened… save the fabric for your next gift!



Brie Bennett
Green Guerrilla Sustainability


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