In order to limit the use of air conditioning and thereby reduce the consumption of electricity, City Hall is promoting a full-fledged ‘Cool Biz’ campaign to encourage officials to wear simpler and cooler clothing and shoes during the summer.
※ ‘Cool Biz,’ a compound of ‘cool’ and ‘business,’ refers to an energy conservation initiative launched in Japan in 2004. The Ministry of Environment of Korea launched a similar campaign in 2009 under the name of Coolmaepsi, a combination of ‘cool’ and the Korean word ‘maepsi’ meaning ‘style’.
Seoul Metropolitan Government has decided to advise its officials to wear simpler and cooler clothing from May to September, marking a move away from the traditional business attire of suit and tie in a bid to restrict energy consumption via the use of air conditioning as much as possible. From June to August, in particular, the city government will allow all of its officials to wear ‘Cool Biz’ clothing, designating the hottest three months of the year as the Super Cool Biz period, when officials can wear even shorts and sandals, in accordance with the good etiquette and dignity required of public officials. However, officials who work in public service centers where there is constant contact with citizens are excluded from the campaign.
Moreover, the city government has launched a wide range of energy conservation measures including turning off the standby power of electric devices not in use, removing one light bulb from two- and three-bulb lighting sets, and turning off alternate light bulbs where applicable, as well as banning the use of warm water in bidets and setting air conditioner thermostats at or above 28℃ at any time.
To commemorate World Environment Day (WED) on June 5, the city government is organizing a ‘Cool Biz Fashion Show’ at the RTO Hall of the former Seoul Station, which has been transformed into a fascinating cultural performance space, in collaboration with the Korea Green Foundation and the Korea Fashion Association. The fashion show, titled Seoul Takes Off First, will start at 15:50 and end at 16:35 on the day. Seoul Mayor Park Won Soon will also participate in the fashion show as one of the models. The show will feature a variety of Cool Biz looks for office workers, and a new concept of cool summer clothing range for ordinary citizens that can be worn in and outside the home. Anyone interested in attending the show should apply in advance at the website or phone number provided below. Only two hundred people will be selected due to the limited space in the hall.