This blog is dedicated to introducing a variety of craftsmanship.
This time, we focus on the “Made in Japan” fabrics section, with a focus on Miyuki Keori Co.,Ltd.
I am Yu Yamamoto, Editor of TAILORS WORLD.
- 1 Initiatives at Miyuki Keori’s Yokkaichi Plant (1) “Sorting Process – Soap”
- 2 Initiatives at Miyuki Keori’s Yokkaichi Plant (2) “Natural Wooden Washing Rods”
- 3 Initiatives at Miyuki Keori’s Yokkaichi Plant (3) “Organizing Process -Water-“
- 4 Other Activities
- 5 Summary
Miyuki Keori Co.,Ltd. is one of the leading textile manufacturers in Japan with a very long history, having been established in 1905. Its main factory, the Yokkaichi Plant, aims to be an ecological company that is friendly to the global environment through a variety of initiatives. These include the use of wool as a raw material, natural soap used in the washing process, and pumping up and using subterranean water (underground water) instead of tap water.
The future vision of Miyuki Keori is “to be an eco-friendly company. We will continue to strive to further reduce our environmental impact through continuous improvement.
Initiatives at Miyuki Keori’s Yokkaichi Plant (1) “Sorting Process – Soap”
Soap is very important in the washing process to determine the texture of the fabric.
Miyuki Keori still uses natural soap made from natural oils and fats without any additives, but in fact, natural soap is very difficult to use. The high hardness content of water, such as calcium and magnesium, tends to produce a compound called soap scum, which is difficult to remove once it has formed, so clean water, long and slow rinsing times, and skilled expertise in machine operation are essential. The process is time-consuming and natural soap. Although natural soap is time-consuming, we believe it is indispensable for the superb texture of clothing.
Many fabric makers use synthetic detergents, which have a high lathering capacity, require less detergent, and require only a little rinse water.
We believe that soap made from natural ingredients is absolutely the best for natural wool fibers.
Despite its low productivity and cost disadvantage, Miyuki Keori continues to use natural soap with pride and philosophy. After use, natural soap is quickly decomposed into water and carbon dioxide and returned to nature. Using natural soap is also “ecological.
Initiatives at Miyuki Keori’s Yokkaichi Plant (2) “Natural Wooden Washing Rods”
One of the symbols of Miyuki Keori’s eco-friendly and organic manufacturing is the “natural wood scrubbing stick,” which is used to scrub the surface of wool in the washing process.
In the process of washing wool, the surface of the fabric is rubbed with this stick, and rubbing wool, a natural material, with natural wood is a symbol of organic manufacturing.
The washing stick is made of a wood called “asada” from Hokkaido, and Miyuki Keori \ takes the trouble to order this wood and have it carved with a jagged surface.
The “wash sticks” are carved by hand, one by one, and Miyuki Keori consumes more than five of these sticks a year. At first glance, this may seem inefficient, but natural wood is the best for the texture of the washed fabric.
Initiatives at Miyuki Keori’s Yokkaichi Plant (3) “Organizing Process -Water-“
All water used is not ordinary tap water that has been chemically disinfected, but underground water from the Suzuka mountain range (i.e., groundwater). The water is not disinfected at great expense and effort, but is obtained by simply digging in the ground. Obtaining water that has not been disinfected by costly and labor-intensive methods is an important aspect of Miyuki Wool Textile’s sustainability. Of course, after use, the water is purified through a number of wastewater treatment tanks and discharged through underground pipes.
The water from the Yokkaichi water system is clear and of good quality, and has been selected as one of the country’s “100 best waters.” In particular, Chishaku-yosui, which flows nearby, is well known. The concentration of sake breweries in the area is another testament to the quality of the water.
We are working in accordance with the environmental management system standard that conforms to the standard ISO 14001.
We also passed the transition audit for the 2015 edition, which significantly changed the content of the standard, and our registration certification was renewed in August 2018.
Safety and Environmental Assessment within the Group
In order to improve the level of safety and environmental management as a member of the TOYOBO group to which Miyuki Keori belongs, the “Global Environment Promotion Committee” undergoes and clears an annual review based on a wide variety of checklists in accordance with our regulations, and accepts an on-site audit every three years to maintain and improve the management level.
Miyuki Keori is confirmed as a company with good safety and environmental management status and very low environmental impact risk.
Initiatives for a Recycling-Oriented Society
The Toyobo Group has set the goal of zero emissions as “less than 1% of total waste generated to landfill,” and the Group’s landfill rate is 0.64%.
Miyuki Keori has no waste that must be landfilled, and therefore has a landfill rate of 0%.
Chemical Substance Management
In order to understand and reduce the risk of chemical substances used, we are working to replace or reduce hazardous chemical substances, improve the work environment and surrounding environment, and control chemical substances contained in products.
Miyuki Keori is actively working to switch to products that have less impact on the global environment, such as discontinuing the use of perchloroethylene dry ligneous solvents and replacing them with C8 fluorinated water repellent, which is expected to be regulated by law in the future.
Recycling as Sustainability
Miyuki Keori developed “Mie no Ochamusume Dyeing” in FY 2018. The company used the lees of Japanese tea produced in Yokkaichi, which were conventionally disposed of, for dyeing wool. It is one of our contribution activities to the community.
Education/enlightenment activities to raise environmental awareness among employees, and community contribution activities
We promote environmental education through our own curriculum, including in-house environmental seminars and environmental education for new employees.
In addition, in order to save energy in offices, we are promoting the reduction of CO2 emissions through such measures as “strictly setting the temperature at 28°C for air conditioning and 20°C for heating,” “promoting Cool Biz/Warm Biz,” “diligently turning off lighting equipment,” and “turning off electrical equipment when not in use.
Miyuki Keori considers the maintenance of a relationship of trust with local communities to be fundamental to its corporate activities. We believe it is important to maintain close communication through information disclosure and active participation in community activities. As part of such activities, approximately 140 children from nearby elementary schools visit our factory every year. In addition, employees of Miyuki Wool Textile conduct cleanup activities around the mill.
A part of the site is used by our employees as a farm, and the crops produced at the Miyuki Keori factory are used to decorate the tables of our employees.
For further details, please also visit the website of Miyuki Keori Co.,Ltd.
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, it is filled with MIYUKI’s commitment to craftsmanship, and we hope you can understand that.
After 2 years of training at a major order-made suit store in Japan, I started my career in apparel materials and fabrics.
I’m especially good at suits and coats.