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STYLEM makes commitment to sustainability and development of new services and products

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Article - March 15, 2024

With a rich history spanning 160 years, the Japanese domestic giant focuses on the textile business, placing greater emphasis on major markets like China, the EU and the United States.

THE ARCHIVE & GALLERY AT THE STYLEM HEADQUARTERS

STYLEM TAKISADA-OSAKA CO., LTD., a textile trading company established in 1864, continues to support the fashion business across four business divisions: textiles, raw materials, apparel garments, and lifestyle. The company is expanding its business globally with a focus on the textile business, which has established the top share in the domestic market.

Given the weak Japanese yen and current international context, which has seen the U.S, and Western countries decoupling from China, many commentators believe this could be a pivotal time for Japanese industry.

And while the weak yen undoubtedly benefits STYLEM's business, president Ryuta Taki is keen to emphasize that there are other reasons for consumers to choose Japanese products.

“Our clients predominantly seek made-in Japan textiles due to their exceptional quality,” he says, “something that cannot be easily replicated elsewhere.”

The country is also leading the way when it comes to providing an alternative to fast fashion. In recent years there has been a huge push in the West for handmade Japanese denim, a demand that is reflective of a more general shift towards sustainability in Europe and beyond.

“We believe,” Mr. Taki says, “that our mission is to deliver high-quality clothing that stands the test of time, rather than promoting cheaper, disposable options.”

It is worth noting that as well as producing high-quality garments, STYLEM is strongly committed to sustainability and has taken on the challenge of developing new products and services, such as ORGANIC FIELD™. Every process involved in producing ORGANIC FIELD cotton is controlled by STYLEM, from seed selection through to cotton cultivation and yarn production, to ensure its traceability.

Since converting farms to organic production takes time, the company has entered into a partnership agreement with Indian company NSL, working together with farmers from the first in-conversion year (IC1) onwards. STYLEM is also working to improve the working environment and the natural environment by safeguarding workers’ health and protecting the soil from harmful chemical substances.

“By creating an environment that facilitates the conversion to organic cultivation,” Mr. Taki confirms, “we are making a contribution towards job creation and local community development; building a sustainable supply chain to usher in a brighter future for everyone.”

Nor has the company neglected its digital and online presence, recently establishing its web store, named the STYLEM FABRIC STORE.

Mr. Taki again: “Through this platform, we offer designers in the apparel industry a convenient way to browse and select materials that align with their creative vision. We maintain an extensive inventory of approximately 5,000 traceable fabrics, providing a one-stop shop for clients to check product information, including specification and stock availability, and place orders.”

The company focuses on fashion capitals such as Paris, Milan or New York, with these serving as the basis for its planning and marketing strategies.

“Maintaining an extensive global network is essential to our strategy," Mr. Taki states. “We want to concentrate on potential areas for our production sites that cater to high end apparel brands or clients. Which is why we are also prioritizing regions such as the ASEAN countries, China and India for our production sites, where we have already established operations.”

A recent collaboration with Sony Group Corporation, meanwhile, has led to the creation of wear made with Triporous™, a porous carbon material made from rice husks.

Thanks to its unique patented microstructure, Triporous offers potential applications in a wide range of fields such as water and air purification. This wear has excellent deodorant and antibacterial effects, quickly eliminating unpleasant odors and enabling it to be worn repeatedly even in environments where laundering is not possible.   

That even includes outer space: “Triporous: Space QOL Series” relaxing wear, in which Triporous is applied to textiles was adopted on astronaut Satoshi Furukawa’s long-duration mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS) in August 2023.

For his part, Mr. Taki is more focused on earthly concerns. “The fast fashion industry generates a considerable amount of waste,” he concludes. “My vision is for the next generation to carry forward the business in a more sustainable and environmentally responsible manner.”

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