Uniqlo and Toray develop clothing made from recycled down and fabric
Uniqlo brand owner Fast Retailing and material manufacturer Toray Industries have joined forces to produce clothing made from recycled down and fabrics. The fabrics used include polyester materials from recycled plastic bottles.
This initiative is part of a long-term strategic partnership between two well-known Japanese companies, using a new production process developed by Toray to ensure that its end products have high performance characteristic.
Use Uniqlo physical stores to collect UltraLight second-hand down jackets, and then use a new system developed by Toray to extract the down from the clothing, clean it and then reuse it in new down products . The second-hand clothing recycling program will start in September, with Japan as the first stop. Some down products in the autumn and winter of 2020 will use this recycled material.
This move marks a major development. Down filling is traditionally removed by hand, but for UltraLightDown products, it has become a very difficult process. The outer fabric of the down jacket is very thin and has a complex structure.
Through the development of a dedicated extraction machine, Toray has fully automatic cutting, mixing, separation and recycling functions. Compared with manual operation, the down processing capacity can be improved 50 times.
Toray claims another milestone with its new Dry-Ex product, which uses cloth made from high-value-added polyester material from recycled PET plastic bottles. The fabric quickly wicks away moisture.
Although fibers made from recycled plastic bottles have been commercially available for some time, the special cross-section and microfiber properties required for production were due to issues with PET bottle contaminants. The fiber has always been difficult. Another challenge that needs to be addressed is the yellowing of plastic bottles over time.
The contaminant filtration technology developed by Toray has overcome these problems. The fibers made by Toray are different from those made directly from petrochemical products, including fibers with special cross-sections. Product features are comparable and possible. Another development of Toray is the Recycling Identification System, which improves reliability by ensuring the traceability of plastic bottle fibers.
Uniqlo will start to produce Dry-Ex products using recycled polyester fabrics starting in the spring and summer of 2020.
Tadashi Yanai, founder of Uniqlo and president, chairman and CEO of Fast Retailing, said: Through this important partnership, we can continue to provide high performance to all customers around the world. , high quality and sustainable clothing.
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