August 1, 2007
Kuraray Plastics Co., Ltd.
MoonStar Company (Headquarters: Kurume City, Fukuoka Prefecture; President: Kaoru Motomura, referred to herein as MoonStar), and the Kuraray Group company Kuraray Plastics Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Osaka City; President: Katsuhiko Kishi, referred to herein as Kuraray Plastics), have achieved an early success-a success in keeping with worldwide initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions and curb global warming-by jointly developing "Biomass Hadashikko" shoes made of biomass material (soft polylactic acid resin).
Polylactic acid is well-known as a material made from cornstarch or other starch, and MoonStar has been considering how to apply the material to shoes for several years. Kuraray Plastics turned its attention to softening the resin, quickly overcoming the disadvantages of its hard and brittle nature and its weak resistance to heat, and succeeding in developing a suitable material for shoe soles. This, the world's first commercialization of the resin in a shoe sole, was made possible through long cooperation between the two companies on new product development.
Since obtaining ISO14001 certification in 2000, MoonStar has continued to develop products that reduce environmental burden. The new product uses soft polylactic acid resin in the sole, while polylactic acid fiber is used in the material for the uppers. The "Biomass Hadashikko" which are intended as indoor footwear for preschoolers, will be successively launched primarily through department stores nationwide under a sales slogan that translates as "corn shoes."
MoonStar has systemized its many years of shoemaking research, design and production know-how in its "Comfort Saver" technology, which is also incorporated in the biomass material. As a result, MoonStar offers a product with which customers can empathize as strengthening environmental protection measures and contributing to worldwide efforts to curb global warming.
|Brand||"Biomass Hadashikko" 10||"Biomass Hadashikko" 20|
|Colors||White, pink, pale blue||White, white/pink, white/mint|
|Sizes||14.0cm - 21.0cm (half-sizes available)|
|Materials||Uppers: polylactic acid fiber, polyester fiber
Sole: soft polylactic acid resin
|Retail price||¥2,900 (with consumption tax; ¥3,045)|
|Sales launch||Late February 2008|
|Sales channel||Major department stores nationwide and other outlets|
Much of the energy used in contemporary lifestyles and industrial practices is provided by fossil fuels such as oil, which contain carbon. The continuing use of such fuels is increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere, making the earth's climate susceptible to warming. Biomass is the term given to the use of energy from organic, recyclable resources, such as derivatives of corn and other vegetables, which do not use fossil fuels.
MoonStar's product is the world's first application in the footwear field of this new material developed by the Kuraray Group from a vegetable derivative, soft polylactic acid resin. Although the material emits CO2,when burnt, the plant component absorbs CO2 when growing, giving it a CO2 emission-neutral environmental appraisal.
Since biomass materials are plant life that uses sunlight, water and CO2 for their growth, they are part of a sustainable and reusable cycle, and are expected to see increasingly widespread use in curbing global warming.