Raw Materials for Clothing / Industrial Materials
Evolving Our Founding Business by Pursuing Added Value Constantly
Textile materials and raw materials businesses are the founding businesses of ITOCHU. At the beginning, we started handling linen, fabric, felt and other materials, and we have constantly upgraded our operations and evolved as a cotton wholesaler and an exporter of processed cotton cloth, managing spinning mills, and exporting rayon filament yarn and rayon fabric. In such a diverse range of businesses, we have introduced the world high-value-added products by using the most of Japan’s advanced technological capabilities and our competitive manufacturing network throughout the Asia. Such businesses include textile fabrics, lining and garment materials, shirts, denim, functional materials, as well as fiber raw materials such as yarn and cotton.
One of good examples that can be found in the raw material field is our environment-friendly product. The organic cotton business was started in 1991,andthe Pre-Organic Cotton (POC) program was launched in 2007 in order to assist Indian cotton farmers to adopt organic cultivation methods, to increase the area of land under organic cultivation, and encourage market penetration of organic cotton.
In the textile field, we have formed strategic alliances with leading textile manufacturers in textile production regions in Japan (such as the Hokuriku region) and supply high-value-added textiles within Japan and overseas. Globally known for high quality, these textiles are widely chosen by well-known sportswear manufacturers and high-end European brands while these products have established an overwhelming presence in the Middle Eastern market.
In the functional materials area, we are also actively developing new products and creating new markets. These initiatives include marketing “Outlast”, temperature adjusting materials originally developed by NASA, and “μ-func”, silver fibers with anti-bacterial and anti-odor functionalities.
Providing a Wide Array of Fibers That Transcend Industrial Boundaries
ITOCHU is expanding its businesses globally as we are widely involved in just about every kind of fiber and material imaginable, from cutting-edge industrial fibers with advanced functionality to non-woven textiles used for sanitary items,. For automobile use, we handle fibers used for floor carpets, airbags, and seatbelts as well as fibers used for tires and mechanical belts reinforcement. ITOCHU also handles composites that are indispensable for sporting goods, such as tennis rackets and golf club shafts, and in state-of-the-art technologies for railcars and aircraft bodies. In addition, ITOCHU handles abrasive cloths for hard disk drives in the electronics field, waterproof roofing materials and nonwoven fabrics for ground stabilization used in construction and civil engineering, interior products such as curtains and carpets, electric blankets and electric carpets, and functional bedding products such as materials for luxury down futons. In recent years, we have focused efforts on the Life & Healthcare business area, which promises to grow as society ages. These initiatives include providing linen supplies for hospitals and medical and welfare facilities.