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March 23, 2007 (Osaka, Japan) â€“ Toray Industries, the world’s leading fiber and textile manufacturer with over $12 billion in annual sales, is launching the first environmentally friendly membrane for waterproof-breathable outerwear. The company has developed Entrant Eâ„¢, a coating or laminate free of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and other solvents considered to be harmful to humans as well as the environment. Entrant Eâ„¢ is available today for outdoor and snow sports applications in time for the 2008 spring/summer season.
In this new process, Toray uses a water-based polyurethane, eliminating toxic VOCs from the processing phase during which waterproof and moisture-permeable properties are integrated into the fabric. The company has applied for 20 patents on technologies related to Entrant Eâ„¢.
â€œOur objective for Entrant Eâ„¢ has always been to deliver an eco-friendly product without compromising waterproof-breathable performance.â€ states Kenny Gotcher of Toray. â€œWe can now say that we have reached that goal, and it is a very important milestone in the continuing development of our Entrant products.â€
As part of Toray’s mission to develop environmentally friendly textiles, the company recently launched Recyclonâ„¢, the industry’s first recycled nylon 6 fiber. Patagonia is the first adopter of Recyclonâ„¢ and has been Toray’s development partner in this recent innovation. Patagonia’s Workender Pant, is hitting the market this fall; the Wavefarer board short will be available to consumer in spring 2008. Both contain more than 50% recycled nylon content from Toray.
In addition to material recycling, Toray is making great strides in its development of a closed-loop chemical recycling process of nylon 6. Toray expects to complete developments in chemical recycling in the near future. In the meantime, forward thinking clothing companies are beginning to work with Toray to design garments with future chemical recycling in mind.
As the world’s leading manufacturer of synthetic fibers and textiles, Toray Industries, Inc. has been empowering the most recognized consumer brands in the North American outdoor apparel industry with the most advanced synthetic fabrics for more than 28 years. Toray is the official fabric supplier to both the U.S. & Canadian Alpine Ski Teams. Founded in 1926, Toray has over 200 subsidiaries and affiliates in 18 countries and over $12 billion in annual sales. Toray’s commitment to the environment is demonstrated by its ongoing research and development of textiles that reduce its dependency on non-renewable resources including industrial and post consumer recycling programs and its continuing global operations reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and per unit energy consumption. For more information on Toray, go to www.torayentrant.com or call 866.963.4873.