TOKYO — August 4, 2021 — Avex Entertainment Inc. began limited sales from July 30 of the T-shirts from a Japanese fabric brand “majotae” (pronounced “ma-yo-tah-e”) on its official website, using hemp*1, the natural, sustainable material that is gaining attention globally.
By maximizing the company’s knowhow in creating entertainment contents, Avex shares with the world a new concept in sustainability—hemp cloth, which combines both comfort as clothing, and earth-friendly, ecological aspects. Avex is cultivating a brand new field of business that creates moving experiences beyond the field of entertainment.
Majotae is a brand that utilizes modern technology to resurrect the true texture of the hemp cloth that Japanese people have used since ancient times. The greatest feature of “majotae” is its realization of a texture that overturns the image of typical hemp—as feeling hard and rough—to achieve silky touch and cotton softness.
Avex began this joint project in 2011 together with Shinichiro Yoshida, a leading expert in hemp cloth and an advisor to Avex, and Genbei Yamaguchi, 10th-generation Kondaya obi (kimono sash) artisan. After thoroughly researching the Edo-era production process of hemp cloth, and improving spinning efficiency by replacing the various manual processing methods with the latest technology and knowhow in order to mechanize them, in 2014 the company released softer, high-quality hemp cloth that fits to the body and becomes more supple in texture the longer it is used.
Greatly expanding the use of the sustainable material hemp
Hemp grows quickly, even in barren land and arid regions, without causing burden to the environment. It is gaining attention as the ultimate ecological material*2.
Until now, only woven textile could be produced which was limited in use due to the characteristics of hemp fibers. Now, by developing a thread that is more resistant than previous one which would break when it is spun, not only plain weaving, but the production of knitted fabric made from 100% hemp fiber became possible*3. Due to this, Avex is able to expand the use of hemp cloth not just for shirts and kimono, but also knitted fabric products such as T-shirts and sweatshirts that until now commonly made from cotton and synthetic fibers.
As an ecological and a natural material*4, “majotae” is physically comfortable to be used in T-shirts and various other daily items, we expect that it will greatly reduce barriers to sustainability.
In 2018, the company acquired international patents*5 for the production and manufacturing processes of hemp cloth, and we will continue research and development. In order to achieve the increasingly important goal of realizing a sustainable society, we will position hemp cloth as an ecological material of the future and continue to release “majotae” products in the lifestyle field.
*1: The raw material is harmless hemp that contains no hallucinogenic substances
*2: The amount of energy needed to manufacture 1 ton of hemp fiber is about one-third that of cotton (hemp uses 8.2GJ, while cotton uses 25.2 GJ). Source: Hemp Dokuhon, Yoshiyuki Akahoshi, 2006.
*3: Compared with other flax fibers, such as linen and ramie, hemp fibers are non-uniform and straight, which causes low thread elasticity, makes it easy for threads to break when they are spun and, in particular, knitted cloth, which requires more thread elasticity than woven cloth, is difficult to produce.
*4: Key characteristics of hemp cloth: continued use leads to rich texture, softness, durability. Quick drying, moisture and heat retaining due to the characteristics of its air-holding structure and the quality of the fibers.
*5: Spinning efficiency is improved by using enzymes to soften the raw material of bast fiber (all flax fibers) and using a strong alkali to twist the fibers. Patents acquired in Japan, Taiwan, the US, China, France, Belgium, Spain
Posted August 4, 2021
Source: Avex Entertainment Inc.