Forget solar power and hybrid cars: Now the Japanese are taking the fight against global warming all the way into their underwear drawers. This week, according to an Associated Press report, the Japanese government unveiled the "Warm Biz" bra, a vaguely Muppet-like, insulated undergarment with removable breast-enhancing inserts that can be warmed in the microwave. Clearly, the government strove to be practical and stylish: The ensemble comes complete with "furry straps that wrap around the neck" like a boa and coordinating boy shorts. As Lee Chapman, the proprietor of Japanese news blog Tokyotimes.org, remarks, now "busty bureaucrats will be both snug and sexy!"
Photographs of petite and playful young models prancing in their plush skivvies serve as a seductive introduction to Warm Biz -- a statewide program sponsored by the Japanese government that encourages workers to pile on the layers in order to strip down on heating costs during colder months. Warm Biz follows close on the heels of last summer's "Cool Biz" campaign -- which also used fashion to fight wasteful energy use, by allowing open-collared shirts and short sleeves in offices. According to the Associated Press, Cool Biz proved a bona fide success, saving the county 210 million kilowatt-hours of energy -- "enough to power 720,000 households for a month."
Looking for some fuzzy, fuel-saving lingerie of your very own? For now, U.S. shoppers are out of luck. Triumph International, the manufacturers of the Warm Biz bra, doesn't yet offer the set for sale on its international Web site. In the meantime, why not just strap some stuffed animals to your chest?