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Toray Develops ”Ultrasuede nu” using 100% Plant-based polyester for Headrest Covers of ANA Green Jet

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Oct. 3, 2022

Toray Industries, Inc.

Tokyo, Japan, October 3, 2022 – Toray Industries, Inc., announced today it has developed a new variety of Ultrasuede nu which partially consists of 100% plant-based polyester (see note 1). All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd. (ANA), will adopt this developed material to the headrest covers in ANA Green Jet, the special aircraft from November this year. These aircrafts will selectively use products and services using sustainable materials to embody the ANA Future Promise (note 2), a slogan for that carrier’s commitment to realizing a sustainable society and enhancing corporate value. 
Ultrasuede nu headrest cover

ANA Green Jet 

Ultrasuede nu is a non-woven material for a genuine leather appearance with a base material of Ultrasuede and a special resin treatment applied to its surface. The latest Ultrasuede nu developed by Toray is the first Ultrasuede product which partially consists of 100% plant-based polyester for the ultra-fine fibers on the surface of the base material. In addition, about 30% plant-based polyurethane is used inside of the non-woven structure, and about 30% plant-based polyester is used in the reinforcement fabric called scrim, making this developed product the world’s highest level of plant-based raw material content for the non-woven material for a genuine leather appearance. ANA decided to adopt Ultrasuede nu because it is the environmentally conscious material that combines luxurious texture, design, and high functionality.

Toray is developing 100% plant-derived polyesters in line with efforts to make its mainline polymers biobased to help materialize a carbon-neutral, circular economy that does not depend on fossil resources.

Since the world's first commercial production of Ultrasuede, using plant-based recycled resources as part of its raw materials in 2015, we have been focusing on the development of eco-conscious products and will continue to develop products using higher plant-based raw material. Under the Ultrasuede™ vision of “to enrich society through empowered creativity and materials evolution”, we will continue to take on the challenge of realizing Toray Group's corporate philosophy, " Contributing to society through the creation of new value with innovative ideas, technologies, and products”.

Details of “Ultrasuede nu” for ANA’s headrest covers

1. Structure
(a) Ultra-fine fibers
The ultra-fine fibers are composed of 100% plant-based polyester made of ethylene glycol from sugarcane molasses byproducts and dimethyl terephthalate from corn starch.

(b) Elastomer (Used inside of non-woven fabric structure)
The elastomer is composed of about 30% plant-based polyurethane made with polyol from castor oil plant. 

(c) Scrim 
The scrim is composed of about 30% plant-based polyester made from ethylene glycol from sugarcane molasses byproducts.

*The plant-based raw material content in this developed Ultrasuede nu is about 64%.
(Based on the results of our internal investigation)

2. Characteristics
• Delicate texture and suppleness reminiscent of premium aniline leather (note 3)
• A unique, calming luster
• Light, comfortable breathability
• Environmentally conscious non-animal (vegan)material (note 4)

1.  100% plant-based polyester in keeping with ISO 16620-1 3.1.5 biobased synthetic polymer content standard
2. See press release issued on June 3, 2022, titled, ANA to Introduce Special ANA Future Promise Aircraft to Highlight Commitment to ESG
3. Aniline leather, which is made by bright dyeing using synthetic dyes (aniline dyeing) and finishing 
with transparent resin (aniline finishing) to take advantage of the leather's original delicate grain 
surface, is considered one of the most luxurious finishes for leather products.
4. The main components of Ultrasuede nu are polyester and polyurethane.


Related ANA news release 
ANA Green Jet Takes to the Skies This October (October 3, 2022)

Ultrasuede’s sustainability

Ultrasuede nu website 

Ultrasuede website