Inspired by Scarcity

Making textiles from milk and noodles from fish — these ingenious ideas were born out of necessity during the First and Second World Wars, when resources were scarce. Hanae Shimizu was amazed to discover that far from being a limiting factor, shortages foster creativity. She collected over 100 examples in a book, Inspired by Scarcity, to encourage people to rediscover that same creative spirit amid our modern age of excess in the West. Her favourite example? “Liquid stockings. Leg paint to look like stockings, when silk and nylon were in short supply. People would even paint on a fake seam!” she says.

Hanae Shimizu