Japan Business Report 2018

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Discovery Reports

Teijin Frontier uplifts lives with innovative fibre technology solutions

Japan’s leader in superior and innovative fabrics is also the world’s only business involved in the integrated manufacturing and sales of fibres

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 May, 2018, 11:26am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 May, 2018, 3:14pm

[Country Business Reports interviews and articles by Discovery Reports]

Imagine an environmentally friendly fabric that prevents the growth of bacteria, controls odour and helps skin maintain its pH balance – or a sweat-absorbing, fast-drying polyester material with excellent laundry durability. As Japan’s leading name in superior and innovative fabrics, Teijin Frontier, the Teijin Group’s fibres and products converting company, has continuously pushed the boundaries of apparel development with its cutting-edge technologies.

The company embarks on a new frontier as a one-stop, full-service provider of market-leading fabric solutions – from harnessing raw polymer materials to developing the retail-ready final product.

Since April last year, the well-known original equipment manufacturer of apparel synthesised its manufacturing and trading capabilities under one brand umbrella – turning Teijin Frontier into the world’s only business entity involved in the integrated manufacturing and sales of fibres.

“The integration of our production and trading businesses is a key strength as it allows us to research and develop different kinds of polymers, textiles and apparel in a way that swiftly responds to our customers’ needs,” says Shinji Nikko, president. “It’s a strength that’s transferrable not only within Japan but globally, especially since we are targeting markets such as China and the Asean.”

With a strong production network across Japan and Asia consisting of more than 700 manufacturers, Teijin Frontier is strategically preparing to further serve the growing markets of Southeast Asia and China with industry-leading fabrics. It has begun by establishing a research and development (R&D) triangle between its planned R&D centre in Thailand and existing centres in Japan and China.

From waterproof, lightweight and tear-stopping fabrics to anti-stain textiles, flame-resistant polyester material and high-performance, high-strength nanofibre developed with ultra-microscopic technology, Teijin Frontier’s diverse portfolio of high-technology fibre and fabric solutions have attracted major players from the apparel and industrial sectors. About 40 per cent of Teijin Frontier’s industrial clients are from the automotive industry.

“We create new technologies. That’s why our brand is still very active – with some of the leading global sports apparel brands using a lot of our textiles”
Shinji Nikko, president, Teijin Frontier

“As a leading company in Japan specialising in fibre technologies, we stand by our philosophy to always create new values at all times,” Nikko says. “We create new technologies. That’s why our brand is still very active – with some of the leading global sports apparel brands using a lot of our textiles.”

Teijin Frontier’s core products include DELTAPEAK, a balanced, ultra-high-functional, comfortable, lightweight and stretch material supporting a full range of sport activities; SOLOTEX, a polytrimethylene terephthalate (PTT) product with a springy molecular structure providing the advantages of both polyester and nylon to create a stretchy and soft texture; and a highly water-repellent outerwear fabric in polyester.

Rising demand for smart textiles has triggered robust growth across a variety of end-use industries such as sports and fitness, security and health monitoring. Seeking partnerships in research and technology as well as talent that can support its development of hi-tech solutions, Teijin Frontier stays ahead of the competition with its expanding portfolio of market-leading fabric technologies.

Focused on wearables of the future, the company is developing a range of smart fabrics such as a wearable cosmetic. Worn as an underwear such as a glove or pair of socks, the wearable cosmetic dispenses beauty properties to the skin in order to relieve conditions such as eczema using technology specially developed by Teijin Frontier. The company has acquired a licence to manufacture and sell this product, which is the only one of its kind globally.

Other wearables in the pipeline include fabrics capable of tracking and storing patterns of movement and medical textiles that take the pulse of a patient within seconds and alert the emergency department of a hospital.

“Our corporate message is now ‘life evolves with fibres’,” Nikko says. “This means that Teijin Frontier adds to human quality of life by creating happier living standards with our fabric solutions. It’s a very unique point of view.”