Japanese material innovator Toray has announced the launch of a new brand that will be used exclusively to market synthetic fibres derived from recycled PET plastics. The company has developed contaminant filtering technology which it says will remove the typically yellow tinge that develops over time to provide impurity-free recycled fibres. At the recent Uniqlo LifeWear Day exhibition, the pair – which were celebrating 17 years of collaboration – announced that the apparel brand would leverage Toray’s recycled fibres to create Dry-Ex branded fabric.

The launch of &+ is said to foreshadow more concerted efforts from Toray to create sustainable fibre types for the mass market, as it looks to capitalise on brands’ appetite for such solutions. Toray States that its purified recycled alternative can be used across the apparel sphere – in fashion items, sportswear, uniforms and consumer goods. Under the promotional slogan ‘Together, we are the new green’, the Asian firm will look to garner new custom by marketing its services in partnering retailers. Earlier this month, Uniqlo announced the extension of its ongoing collaborations with Toray as it looks to adopt the recycled fibre which will be marketed as Dry-Ex – fabrics from which are expected to be brought to market by spring/summer 2020.

Toray partnered with Kyoei Industry to develop the contaminant filtering system that’s enabled the firm to make ground in this area. It can also count on a new Recycling Identification System to authenticate the provenance of its recycled PET fibres once they reach the customer. The technology is said to detect the integration of additives premixed with the raw material, ensuring customers access the sustainable fibre type they’ve purchased.

“Toray plans to setup and expand its PET bottle-derived fibre to diverse supply chains on everything from fibres to textiles and apparel, by utilising its global manufacturing sites,” the company has now said. “The company will build a supply structure to respond to customers who share the same vision of materialising a sustainable economy. As part of its green innovation business expansion project, Toray is building its position in energy conservation, biomass, recycling, and diverse other fields to deliver lasting environmental, resources, and energy solutions,” it notes.