Archive for the ‘Yukata’ Category

Follow Us On Social Media.

Sunday, March 6th, 2022

Follow us. Pin Us. Tweet Us. Like Us. Read our latest Blog. In other words, keep in touch with us on social media.

Chopa.com has been a leading provider of authentic Japanese Kimono and yukata robes since 1994.  We pride ourselves on being a 100% Employee-owned company and providing excellent customer service.  We have a passion and nearly 29 years ago, we took that passion and turned it into one of the premiere kimono dealers on the web. Great selection, quality robes, and fast shipping from the USA.  Join us on Social media.

Chopa – Your Kimono Source maintains an opt-in customer email list and sends out periodical emails. It serves as a way to remind customers we are here and ready to serve up a brand new Japanese Kimono Yukata.  Besides the newsletter, we also use Social Media to stay in touch with existing or potential new customers.

Here are a few reasons it benefits you to ride along with us on this Japanese inspired social media journey:

Stay up-to-date with the latest news and products from Chopa. We love to publish announcements of new arrivals, new colors, prints, and patterns.  Social media is usually the first place we inform our customers. We also keep followers up to date with arrivals, delays, and ordering processes at our production facilities in Japan. This was very handy with the Covid Pandemic and continues today. Due to extended restrictions in certain areas, shipping is still very tricky to import into the USA.  Our partners also have difficulties or delays with printing fabrics. We posted a lot of updates pre-holiday about what to expect and when to order. This helped our customers immensely.

You can connect with us directly, ask questions, and provide feedback. If you have a question about something, email or text us for a prompt response, but if social media is your preferred communication, send us a note.

We invite customers to send in pictures of themselves wearing their favorite kimono or yukata.  If they approve, we include their social media handle and you can like and or follow them.  You can also ask questions and discover what other customers’ interests are.

You can see what others are saying about our kimono, yukata, and other products and services. Unless derogatory or offensive, we allow customer posts and comments. Chopa invites you to share our media pages with friends and family members that have the same interests. We can learn from each other.  We receive far more emails and texts than we do social media contacts, so help us spread the word and let people know we are here and to join us.

You can join in on online conversations and discussions about the Japanese Kimono, Chopa, and our industry. By engaging with us on social media, you create a two-way communication channel that allows you to stay informed while also giving feedback and voicing your opinion. It’s a win-win! Tell us about things you would like to see, new experiences you would be interested in.

Chopa also posts information on new products, flash sales, closeouts, discounts, and specials. If a fabric is discontinued and we are down to just a few kimono or yukata, we will mark them down to finish off the lot and enable our customers the opportunity to pick up a great deal.

Here is how to reach us on social media:

Facebook –  https://www.facebook.com/KimonoYukataStore

Twitter – https://twitter.com/kimonosource

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/your_kimono_source

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/YourKimonoSource

Blog – https://www.chopa.com/blog

Social media can be a powerful tool for customers to stay in touch. It allows you to connect with us on a more personal level without high pressure sales tactics or expectations.  If you’re not following Chopa – Your Kimono Source on social media, what are you waiting for?  Join us today and be part of our Kimono family.

Follow Chopa.com on social media

Is your Kimono Produced by Slave Labor?

Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

Are you buying a Kimono produced by Slave Labor?

If you purchase a kimono or yukata from Chopa, you can be assured that no slave labor was used in producing these fine robes. We only offer robes produced in Japan without the use of forced or slave labor.

If you are buying a kimono elsewhere, chances favor that you are, if it was made in China. Forced slavery in China has been a hot topic for decades as the world looks closer at how some things are produced for such low costs. One of the reasons is low-cost labor. Ask any manufacturing manager or factory owner what one of their most important factors are in determining price, and labor is inevitably among the top answers.

China has a long foothold on producing low cost goods and labor is a predominate factor. Days are long, the standard workweek is six days and benefits for many are nonexistent. In some factories, employees also live there. Some consider it part of their pay; others call it forced imprisonment. Some factories have block walls around the perimeter with razor wire fences and watch towers that resemble prisons.

Jonathan Bass, CEO of PTM Images told Gordon Chang, Author of The Coming Collapse of China that “We all need to decide our moral responsibilities as Americans and what we stand for. We do not stand for slave labor. We in fact fought a war on our own soil to end it.” Mr. Bass’ insights are a startling reminder we shouldn’t take for granted and the message should never be forgotten.

We often see kimonos for sale on Amazon, Etsy and similar sites selling for $20.00 to $30.00.  They are often deceptively advertised as Japanese kimono, but we immediately know from the price, that these are not made in Japan. Japan is not a communist country and their leadership does not condone slavery. In China, the communist government denies any knowledge or acceptance of slavery but there are far too many documented cases and facts that disprove their claim.

Forced labor doesn’t begin inside the walls of a factory, but rather in the fields of cotton. China is the largest cotton producer in the world, with 84% of its cotton coming from the Xinjiang region. Chinese officials force hundreds of thousands of Uighur Muslims into cotton harvesting.

Cotton and yarn produced in Xinjiang is also exported to other garment-producing countries like Cambodia, Bangladesh, and Vietnam. All three are also low-cost producing countries with subpar working conditions and little accountability for employee rights. According to Anti-Slavery International, one fifth of all cotton production in China is presumed to be linked to forced labor. Persecuted Muslim Uighurs in China are forced to supply the world’s fashion companies in the fields and in the factories.

In contrast, The United States has been a major supplier of raw cotton to Japan for more than a century assuring that the cotton kimono you buy from Japan is made without forced labor.

In 2016, the Global Slavery watchdog group estimated that on any given day in China, there were over 3.8 million people living in conditions of modern slavery. Forced child labor cases were detected in a garment factory in Changshu, Jiangsu Province, where underage workers were forced to work overtime and beaten if they refused. They also had their passports and mobile phones confiscated if they attempted to run away. Huge numbers from within this minority group, who are from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) in the north-west part of the country, have allegedly been locked up and hired out by Communist party officials to greedy factory bosses. A leaked Beijing document revealed the scale of its detention camps, with officials admitting that up to eight million people had gone through “training” at state “gulags”. Global Slavery said “This is the largest mass detention of an ethnic and religious identity since World War 2.”

A coalition of more than 180 human rights groups believe that “virtually the entire global apparel industry is tainted by forced Uighur and Turkic Muslim labor. You could inadvertently be putting on a product that was made off the backs of forced labor of Uighurs.”

In February 2016, President Obama signed the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015.  This Act removed the “consumptive demand” exemption which allowed importation of goods produced with forced labor if they were not made “in such quantities in the United States as to meet the consumptive demands of the United States”. This effectively gutted the forced-labor prohibition. Unfortunately, his administration did not enforce the law against many large corporations, like Nike. Chang proposed the question to CPB, Customs and Border Protection, “How can Nike shoes made in a factory surrounded by walls, barbed-wire and watch towers, and where the workers, many from a racial minority, are not allowed to leave, not be made with forced labor?

The audits of Chinese suppliers are nearly always suspect. It is said that buyers of goods, when asking for prices of China-made products, are quoted two prices; one for goods with inspections and the other for goods without. The spread between the two prices approximates the cost of bribes for inspectors.

While U.S. law states that products made with forced labor can be seized, those made in horrible conditions in China and elsewhere are routinely cleared through Customs and end up on the shelves of American retailers.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kenneth Cuccinelli, who oversees the border agency, called “Made in China” a “warning label.” The cheap cotton goods you may be buying for family and friends during this season of giving, if coming from China, may have been made by slave labor in some of the most egregious human rights violations existing today in the modern world.”

The next time you seek to purchase a kimono, check the source carefully. Don’t be fooled by descriptions simply because the dealer says Japanese style, Japanese Robe or Japanese Kimono. Look for where it was made. If they don’t tell you clearly and plainly, ask. One of the biggest frauds we see on Amazon is that of companies claiming they are made in China but for export to Japan using Japanese standards. If you don’t shop carefully, they may have a bridge to sell you as well.

It may not seem like an issue but if you are against forced labor and slavery, don’t purchase a China-made Kimono. There is a reason we offer true, proven, quality made kimono and yukata from Japan. We don’t want to participate in the slave trade and won’t. Nor should you.

Yukata From Japan – No Forced Labor 

Top Selling Kimono and Yukata – September 2021

Sunday, October 3rd, 2021

The kimono is a traditional Japanese garment that has been worn for centuries. Kimonos have been around since 1868 BC. Japan’s Emperor Tenmu decreed that nobles should wear them over their Chinese-style robes during certain ceremonial activities in order to distinguish themselves from commoners who were not allowed to wear silk.

Kimonos are made of a flowing fabric that can be worn as an outer or under garment. In Japan and Korea, they are considered formal wear.  The culture of wearing kimonos is not limited to Asia; they’re also popular in Europe where they’re often used for ceremonial occasions like weddings.  Modern Westerners might think the kimono is outdated but many cultures still find it to be a desirable piece of clothing that showcases their individuality and creativity. We have seen a steady surge of sales for years as the kimono and yukata have been gaining popularity around the world. Kimono translates from Japanese as “the thing to wear”.

Some people have fears about how to wear them, but they are simple to slip on and very similar to a bathrobe. Always wear the kimono wrapped around you with the left folded over the right.  Wearing the right over the left is usually reserved for the deceased and funerals. Once you feel comfortable wearing one, you can step out with style or feel like a true samurai warrior. The fascinating styles of patterns and designs will allow you to look your best at any event. The reasons why kimono are so popular among men and women alike range from their rich history to how they can be worn by anyone who wants to look good and feel great.

The Japanese wear kimonos for a variety of occasions. They are often worn at formal events, such as weddings, tea ceremonies, graduations  and religious festivals. The kimono is also traditionally worn by women when they give birth. Kimonos are both feminine and masculine garments with flowing sleeves that cover the hips and long length robes help you keep warm in cold weather. A wide variety of designs can be found on these traditional clothing pieces, from modern prints to classic patterns and some with embroidery. The sister robe to the kimono is the yukata which is lighter weight fabric and often worn at festivals and summertime outings. While yukata are made of cotton, kimono can be made from silk and cotton fabrics with some types of kimonos costing up to $10,000.

Each month we like to publish our list of the Five Top Selling or Most Popular Kimono and Yukata in our store. Our customers make the decision and we share their interests.  So here we go….

The Top Five Selling Kimono Yukata for September 2021

  1. Yukata – Great Wave
  2. Pink Cherry Blossom Yukata
  3. Black Zen and Martial Arts Yukata
  4. Eternal Chain Yukata
  5. Dragon and Bamboo Yukata

The lighter weight yukata is always a popular choice during the Summer and Fall seasons especially in men’s robes and loungewear.

Check out our website at www.chopa.com to see the wide variety of styles, patterns, colors and sizes we offer. As a leading online provider of kimono and yukata since 1994, it’s easy to see why we are your Kimono Source. Great service, fast shipping and free shipping on orders of $75 or more anywhere in the USA.

Beautiful kimonos and yukata are a must have for the fall season. Check back next month to find out what top selling kimono is dominating the market in October! Thank you for reading and now go Get Your Kimono On!!

                      Cherry Blossom Yukata

Is Your Kimono Real or Is It Counterfeit?

Monday, September 20th, 2021

Chopa, your Kimono Source takes pride in offering authentic Japanese Kimono and Yukata.  The beautiful robes we sell are expertly cut and sewn in Japan by experienced, veteran artisans. The relationships with our manufacturers date back several decades because of our mutual trust and understanding of the fine art of the kimono. These beautiful robes have become today’s distinctive loungewear in the West. Whether relaxing at home, the spa or meditating in your sacred space, comfort and style is at your side.

Some might question how a Japanese Kimono can be anything else, but in today’s marketplace, companies often misrepresent what a kimono is and imposters and counterfeits are more abundant than ever. It was about fifteen years ago, when Kim Kardashian gained notoriety by starring in her own pornographic video.  She again made headlines two years ago when she launched a line of undergarments to compete with the renowned brand, Spanx™, and named hers Kimono. Kardashian was harshly criticized in the media about cultural misappropriation and lack of cultural sensitivity. After feeling the heat and even receiving a letter from the Mayor of Kyoto, the name was changed to Kimono Solutionwear™.

If you perform a search on Amazon, eBay, Etsy or any fashion retail sites, chances are pretty good that you can locate what we refer to, as a counterfeit Kimono or at a minimum a misrepresentation. Since sellers can call anything they want a kimono, it isn’t technically a counterfeit, but we we use the word because we feel it is deceptive. This isn’t to say that a Kimono made in another country isn’t a Kimono, but it is not truly a Japanese Kimono. In Japan, the word “Kimono” translates as the “thing to wear”, but it was never intended to mean that anything should be called Kimono. In today’s fashion world, the word Kimono is often used for a simple piece of fabric worn over clothes. Most have no belts or sash and have become synonymous with everyday fashion. Most appear to be open shirts, long or short, no buttons, and worn loose and open. They might pair and be worn over jeans, shorts, dresses and the like. But we feel calling these oversized, open worn shirts a kimono is wrong. We don’t portray ourselves as fashion branding experts in any sense, but even Google is confused when they show these “oversized garments” as kimono.

Consumers must be diligent when looking for authentic products from a specific geographic location. This especially holds true with Japanese Kimono and Yukata. We performed a few searches recently on Amazon and discovered “counterfeit” or misrepresented robes.  Sellers use descriptions of Japanese Kimono, Japanese yukata, Japanese Robe, but careful research further down the description section proved they were not from Japan at all. One way to tell if a seller is using deception is by the price. On Amazon, there are dozens of so-called Japanese Kimono offered below $25. As a dealer in Japanese kimono for nearly 30 years, we can firmly state that we have ever seen a new $25.00 kimono for sale that is made in Japan. More likely they are produced in China.

Another flag of caution is to look at the reviews on Amazon as they often tell a story. For instance, here is one review we found:

“The description and Q&A led me to believe this was made in Japan. The first thing I noticed when I opened the box was a Made in China tag so I didn’t even try it on. It appears to be folded and packaged beautifully but the floral pattern is not as attractive as it looks in the pictures.”

Another reviewer stated that although she believed it was made in Japan, when she received it, the outer package said made in China, but the tags were in Japanese. When she contacted the vendor, they claimed it was made in China but was produced for Japanese export.

Another review said the following:

“The one I just received has a Made in China tag. Very disappointed.”

Other reviews stated that the kimono they received was polyester and not cotton as advertised on the site. Other responses on Amazon had issues with sizing. One posting that he is a size large in the U.S. The robe he received was believed to be a size medium at best.

One additional post claimed the following:

“Please use American size. This kimono is too small for an extra-large American man. Also, this is NOT a kimono, this is a hospital wrap, NOT a Kimono as requested.”

Granted, not every person is 100% satisfied with their purchase. This is why it is important for your own mental state to deal with a USA based provider of Kimono and Yukata. Returns are much easier and understandable. Chopa has a very limited number of returns and we believe that is due to accurate descriptions and honest verbiage. We know that everybody has a different body style, but we attempt to provide information that helps you find the right size without having to make a return.

Deception goes beyond some Amazon sellers. We surfed Etsy and found similar issues with sellers.

One seller claimed:

Our Japanese inspired kimonos are made from a blend of soft Indonesian silk and viscose from Java Indonesia, making it soft and as appealing as silk or satin, with a more affordable price!”

The key phrase to pick up on is “Japanese Inspired”. Inspiration doesn’t make it Japanese made. They are more upfront than other sellers since they disclosed that they make their robes out of Indonesian silk and viscose.  Viscose is usually cheaper or as they state, affordable, because viscose is a synthetic fabric made from chemicals.

We discovered another seller claiming Japanese Kimono, but in the fine print in the description, we observed “made in the volcanic Island of Bali.”  The last we checked; Bali isn’t Japan. The bottom line for us is that if it is truly Japanese, then clearly state that it is made in Japan.

We don’t portray that a kimono made elsewhere won’t provide you joy and satisfaction wearing it, but we believe in honesty and fair advertising. If you see offers similar to these examples, buyer beware. You might get lucky and find a great deal on a robe, but as we hear from many of our customers, they wished they had bought from us in the first place. Transactions are smooth and returns are simple. Shipping a robe back to Florida is much less expensive than China or Indonesia. Decide what you want and go find it. Don’t let sellers deceive you.

Blog about deceptive kimono sellers

Is your Kimono real?

Image courtesy of Anna Tarazevich

Shopping for a Kimono?

Tuesday, September 7th, 2021

As an online retailer of Kimono and Yukata robes since 1994, we understand the challenges of online shopping.  While we strive to have a easy to use, easy to find, and easy to shop website, we know nothing in life is perfect and this is why we make changes whenever possible to provide our customers with a better shopping experience.

Our top priority has always been customer safety and Chopa has never taken this lightly. We spend a large sum of money each year on security software, encryption, offsite services and more to keep customer information safe and secure at all times. We never rent, sell or loan customer information either. If you receive an email from us, it is a courtesy email based on a purchase you made on our website. In these periodic emails, we may alert you to a sale, special discount, or new product introduction. We always include an “unsubscribe” button in these emails and if you click the button, rest assured you are immediately removed from the database and you won’t hear from us again.

One service we introduced a few years ago was our Email Notification Shopping Service. Chopa offers over 100 different patterns and styles of Kimono, Yukata robes and short length Happi Coats, and while we try to maintain a full inventory at all times, it isn’t always possible. For instance we may have 20 Dragon Kimonos in stock at the moment and based on sales, additional inventory may currently be in production. Then along comes an order for 16 of these kimonos, leaving us with 4. If we normally sell 5 a week, you can see out easy it is to run out unexpectedly. Large orders are fairly common as business customers purchase yukata or kimonos as gifts for their sales team or their customers and for employee recognition.

Chopa has also been a Kimono source for theatrical productions, movie studios, model photoshoots, costume companies, restaurants, television shows and weddings. Many brides and grooms have been outfitted in our yukata or kimono, and many bridesmaids and groomsmen have also found our attire to be a special part of that memorable event. We see a large increase in summertime orders for weddings. Early summer also brings a surge in kimono sales for graduation gifts. Besides traditional holidays, birthdays and anniversaries that are common throughout the year, Halloween brings in a quick flurry as customers choose a kimono or yukata for their party costumes. Kimonos simply make great gifts for so many occasions.

Mother’s Day and Father’s Days round out a common theme for choosing kimono robes for gifts. Short-length Happi Coats are very popular for Valentine’s Day as well as the warm summer season as people want a shorter length robe for lounging at home or at the pool or beach. Seeing someone in one of our Happi Coats at the beach always brings a smile to our face.

We have provided some reasons why we may be out of stock in a particular size or style at any one time. If this happens to you, simply drop us an email or text and ask when a certain size or style will be back in stock. We can instantly check our inventory database and let you know an approximate time frame when new stock will be available. We can place you on our email notification list. When the item arrives, we send out one email letting you know that the kimono you want is available. There is no cost for this service and no obligation to follow through with a purchase. This email alert is a courtesy notice only. We do not add you to our email database and only send you one notice. There is no sales pitch, no hassle and absolutely no sales pressure. Consider it a quick note from a friend saying “Hey there, the Pink Cherry Blossom yukata in size medium is now in stock and available.”  That’s it, plain and simple.

So the next time you are surfing our online Kimono Store at www.chopa.com and don’t see a size available in a pattern you like, or don’t see a specific kimono today that you saw a week earlier, go to the top of the web page you are on and hit the “Contact Us” button on the tool bar menu. Send us a text or complete the contact form and submit. We will check our database, reply with a time frame and ask if you want to be added to our free alert system. This takes the guesswork out and allows you time to enjoy life rather than checking back every few days. As always, we invite feedback, suggestions, compliments and even complaints. Thanks for reading and happy kimono shopping.

Customer shopping for kimonos online from www.chopa.com

        Kimono Shopping Made Easy. 

Photo courtesy of Damir Spanic