Fashion Tech News symbol
Fashion Tech News logo

The Challenge of NEXT NEW WORLD: Reviving Japan's Silk Industry through In-house Sericulture and Bio-research

Aiming to revive Japan's silk industry and create a sustainable society, NEXT NEW WORLD Co., Ltd. is on a mission to develop new silk products.
This venture company was founded by Kotaro Takashima in 2021. In 2022, they moved their headquarters to Kiryu City, Gunma Prefecture, and launched their operation there, a town once celebrated for its fabric industry with the slogan "Nishijin in the west, Kiryu in the east."
In addition, they are contracting new farmers who have started sericulture for cocoon production, with the aim of procuring raw materials in-house.
The person engaged in sericulture is Narusa Kawamura, the representative of UNIT KIRYU Co., Ltd., an urban development company active in Kiryu City. They have taken up the challenge of sericulture from being complete beginners, producing cocoons.
For the final part of our special feature on "Sericulture and Silk Production," we spoke with Takashima, who is involved in everything from sericulture to product research and development to create a new industry, and Kawamura, who has started his activities as a new farmer in sericulture, about their current status, challenges, and future plans.

The Potential of Silk's Main Ingredient "Protein"

Takashima has amassed numerous achievements in the fashion industry, including serving for six years as a director at TOKYO BASE, as well as heading the men's apparel and sales consulting divisions at Amazon Japan.
Inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic, he aspired to create a company that could contribute to society, leading to the establishment of his company.
"I've always believed that the proteins found in silk hold incredible future potential that makes us want to delve deeper. Silk is a natural material known for its high biocompatibility, drawing attention for its affinity with human skin. There are many things that can only be achieved with silk proteins, and we are actively pursuing research and development in this field.
“The decision to relocate to Kiryu city was influenced by its reputation as a silk town and the fact that it happened to be the hometown of the Hoshino brothers - Chotaro and Ryoichiro – who contributed significantly to the improvement of Japanese silk and its export expansion before the war. Our intention is to revive the Japanese silk industry from here, hence we've made Kiryu city our base."
So far, the company has commercialized silk-derived soaps and facial masks. But how do they plan to unfold the potential of silk in the future?
The company has on sale 'Silk Soap'.
The company has on sale 'Silk Soap'.
The company also sells 'Face Pack'.
The company also sells 'Face Pack'.
"We plan to continue selling soaps and cosmetics, but this year, we're also launching a range of products to establish ourselves as a lifestyle brand focused on bedrooms and bathrooms.
“We've also obtained an exclusive patent for a silk supplement effective against animal kidney disease and plan to market it. We will concurrently launch silk goods for dogs and cats.
“Having confirmed the usefulness of silk supplements for humans, we will expand its distribution as well. Additionally, we plan to sell a silk preservative that slows down the rotting speed of fruits and vegetables by 1.5 to 2 times.
“Going forward, we are focusing on regenerative medicine, drugs, alternative plastic, mass production of silk proteins, and so on, in collaboration with various research institutions to start research and development."
1 / 3 pages
Share Article