Marubeni: Tyton Profile
Marubeni December 12, 2019
Stylish, High-Quality Waste
Boasting a total value of roughly 150 trillion JPY per year, the global fashion industry commands one of the largest markets in the world. And, as the ever-growing global population is not expected to slow down any time soon, it seems as though this titanic industry has not even reached its full potential, with even further growth projected for the future. In particular, the rise of the fast fashion industry in recent years has had a massive effect on the market, causing an evolution in both products and the supply chain itself. Now, with the power of fast fashion, the trendiest and most stylish designs, which were previously unattainable to many, are now widely available at reasonable prices and high quality, and people’s lives are becoming more lavish and more comfortable as a result. At the same time however, easy access to fashion goods is slowly phasing out the common practice of wearing clothes for a long time or until they are worn out, causing more and more clothing to be thrown out. Similarly, there are people who, without even realizing it, have stockpiled a closet full of clothes that they have never even worn once.
Technological Solutions to Environmental Problems
At present, the problem of mass apparel disposal is growing in tandem with the booming fashion industry. Meanwhile, as many global brands and SPAs are still struggling to contend with this problem, TYTON BioSciences LLC (“Tyton”) has made it their mission to provide a solution.
Iulian Bobe, Tyton’s Romanian-born Chief Technology Officer, spent a portion of his time as a student in Japan, earning his PhD in Chemical Engineering from Osaka Prefecture University. Applying the fruits of his doctorate research, Bobe developed a technology that takes old clothing and waste material from factories and recycles it into raw textiles materials. Then, in 2011, Bobe partnered with CEO Peter Majeranowski and used this technology as the foundation for their business. And thus, Tyton was born in Danville Virginia, with the goal of establishing and diffusing Bobe’s unique textile recycling technology on a global scale.
Tyton’s heat and pressure-based hydrothermal technology has 4 primary characteristics. The first is that it can recycle cotton; although recycling technology for polyester materials was already available, until Tyton, cotton waste was either used as fuel or simply discarded. The second characteristic is the remarkably high 85% (or higher) ratio of cotton and polyester waste materials that Tyton’s technology is able to recycle. Third, Tyton’s hydrolisys recycling process utilizes mainly water, limiting the use of potentially non-ecofriendly chemicals. And fourth, the use of primarily discarded things (e.g. old clothing and factory waste material) in its recycled materials gives Tyton a tremendous competitive edge in terms of cost.
Partnerships Built to Last
Enter Marubeni. In 2019, Marubeni took a stake in Tyton after seeing the growth potential in its unique technology.
Marubeni has a long history of forging strong partnerships with influential raw material makers and garment factories in Asia at various stages of the supply chain. Also, in 2017 Marubeni invested in Saide, a Turkish company which conducts planning, manufacturing and sales of apparel and goods, thus gaining entry into the valuable sales channel of European global SPA enterprises.
Now, with the might of Tyton’s powerful technology in the mix, Marubeni will look to construct a global, circular supply chain in the vast markets of Europe and the United States, and also in the markets of Asia, made up of proven production giants which hold great potential for the future.
All information contained in this article is based on interviews conducted in October 2019.