ITOCHU Announces Acquisition of Exclusive Rights to Import and Sell Coolcore®, a Cooling Material Brand of the United States

April 28, 2016

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Masahiro Okafuji, President & CEO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that it has acquired exclusive rights to import and sell Coolcore®, a cooling material brand from the United States. The full-scale release of the brand in the Japanese market will commence in the 2017 spring-summer season.

Coolcore® was developed by Coolcore LLC of the United States in 2009. It is a brand of an innovating cooling material that promotes transportation and evaporation of moisture absorbed by the fabrics and makes use of the heat of evaporation for the cooling effect, which is enabled by a unique combination of blended yarns. These functions rely on the special fabric structure, instead of chemicals or polymer crystal treatments. Accordingly, the material has high washing resistance and ensures prolonged cooling effect.

In August 2013, Coolcore® was awarded the “Innovative Technology” recognition for “Cooling Power” from the Hohenstein Institute, an international testing institution, for the first time in the world. In November 2015, it won the award for “Best Innovation – Sports and Outdoor Apparel” in the ITMA Future Materials Awards, which is one of the largest international trade shows on textile machines. At present, products that use Coolcore®, such as towels and T-shirts, have been introduced by a major influential sporting goods manufacturer of the United States and adopted for character goods at a renowned resort facility, for example, attracting attention in various parts of the world.

In the Japanese market, materials with a cooling function are attracting attention due to various environmental changes, such as the Coolbiz, which has been reevaluated since the Great East Japan Earthquake, and measures against heatstroke caused by extreme heat. In addition, demand for such materials is expected to increase further along with the growth in the sporting population, reflecting the recent popularity of sports, increasing public health awareness, and the Summer Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo in 2020.

Looking ahead, in five years’ time ITOCHU aims to generate two billion yen on a retail sales basis. To achieve this goal, ITOCHU will strive to improve the value of the Coolcore® brand and increase its visibility by strategically facilitating the development of products using the Coolcore® cooling material and provision of the products in the Japanese market, riding on the strength of its experience and expertise in the overall textile industry and its extensive production network centering on Asia.

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