Toray, Patagonia to Jointly Work on Chemical Recycle of Nylon 6

Toray Industries, Inc., announced today its landmark decision to jointly implement chemical recycling of nylon 6 in garments with Patagonia International, Inc.

December 18, 2007 (Tokyo, Japan) – Toray Industries, Inc., the world's leading fiber and textile manufacturer with over $12 billion in annual sales, announced today its landmark decision to jointly implement chemical recycling of nylon 6 in garments with Patagonia International, Inc. The companies, becoming the first ever to initiate these endeavors, intend to start recycling with the 2008 spring-summer collection of surf pants and extend those efforts to cover the fall-winter collection of hard-shell jackets for alpine climbing. These products will be sold through 2,000 retail stores in 12 countries around the world. Under Patagonia's Common Threads Garment Recycling Program, customers can return products they no longer need to a Patagonia store in exchange for a sticker. The products thus collected will be restored to its raw material form, caprolactam, at Toray's facilities and then reused in the manufacturing process of nylon6, which would then be utilized in various applications. Reuse of nylon6 using chemical recycling enables a 70% reduction in energy consumed for production as well as in CO2 emission compared with the regular petroleum-based nylon6. This endeavor is expected to yield significant returns in terms of energy-savings.

Under its vision to “make a global contribution in conserving resources and protecting the environment to develop a sustainable, recycling-based society” and with its concept of “Clean” and “Less Energy,” Toray Group has been pursuing the development of environmental products as well as recycled products and technologies with a reduced environmental load. The Group positions “Ecodream” as a comprehensive brand for its environmental conservation activities and environmentally friendly products including recycled products. It has been promoting its “Ecodream” Project, which aims at doubling the group sales of environmentally friendly products to about 340 billion by fiscal year 2010, compared with 170 billion yen in fiscal year 2006.

Under a basic policy of “less energy” and “total recycle,” Toray has been actively expanding its fabric recycling activities targeting nylon, polyester and acrylic products, primarily in collaboration with its customers, from various angles such as chemical, material and thermal recycling.

Over the past 22 years, Toray and Patagonia have built an important partnership through development of Toray's advanced materials, ever since Patagonia adopted Toray's signature waterproof, moisture permeable material “Entrant” for its outdoor garments in 1984. With respect to joint recycling efforts, the two companies in December 2006 announced Patagonia's launch of Men's Workender Pants based on materially recycled nylon 6 in its autumn-winter collection.

Under its mid-term business strategies “Project Innovation TORAY 2010 (IT-2010),” Toray has identified environment, water-related and energy as one of four major growing business fields and has been proactively investing management resources to expand the business. Going forward, Toray is committed in promoting corporate activities that contribute widely to the society through manufacturing and related activities based on its superior technologies developed over the years by properly and swiftly responding to the needs of the society.

As the world's leading manufacturer of synthetic fibers and textiles, Toray Industries, Inc. has been empowering the most recognized consumer brands in the North American outdoor apparel industry with the most advanced synthetic fabrics for more than 28 years. Toray is the official fabric supplier to both the U.S. & Canadian Alpine Ski Teams. Founded in 1926, Toray has over 200 subsidiaries and affiliates in 18 countries and over $12 billion in annual sales. Toray's commitment to the environment is demonstrated by its ongoing research and development of textiles that reduce its dependency on non-renewable resources including industrial and post consumer recycling programs and its continuing global operations reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and per unit energy consumption. For more information on Toray, go to or call 866.963.4873.