News:Press Conference: New Recycled Wetsuit Material REBORN
January 15, 2018

On January 15, 2018, Yamamoto Corporation held a press conference at Osaka Sangyo Sozokan in Chuo-ku, Osaka City.

The following is an extract from the press release.

Yamamoto Corporation announced a policy of extrication from dependence on oil in 1973 before environmental protection became common sense in the world, and changed the base material of synthetic rubber, which is the main raw material, from oil to limestone. Recently, its material is highly evaluated for being an “oil-free wetsuit material” in the global market.

Yamamoto Corporation succeeded in completely recycling a rubber material that was said to be non-recyclable until now, in this age rather than the next. With this, old wetsuits can be recreated into new ones. We are adopting a full-scale production system from February 2018.

[Meaning of Reborn80]
The target of the project was to enable the creation of complete wetsuits by using recycled rubber materials for up to 80% of its materials, and this target has been achieved.

Yamamoto Corporation started selling wetsuit materials in the global market in 1965. Consideration of environmental issues was highly publicized in Europe and the U.S. from the 1970s. The previous President Keiichi Yamamoto “considered extrication from dependence on oil and decided to shift to synthetic rubber based on limestone” with the idea that “a time to consider the same environmental issues will definitely also come in Japan in about 10 years.”

With this decision, Yamamoto Corporation shifted to “products that are friendly on the global environment and human body.” It conducted environmental measurers as early as the beginning of the 1980s such as switching rubber auxiliaries to chemicals used in foods, early abolition of azo dye, introduction of a steam reuse system and energy saving using multiple boilers in the work process.

The next target was how to use limited resources without waste and promote reuse.

Until now, it was believed that “vulcanized rubber cannot be recycled and can only be reused.” In other words, recycling of vulcanized rubber was believed to be 100% impossible in the rubber industry. While most in-house engineers and experts at universities, etc. raised opposition saying “it is a waste of time” and “it should be cancelled as it is a waste of money,” “Preposterous Project Reborn80” started in November 2011 and was completed today.

[Future Developments]
We will start bulk production with 10% of materials being recycled rubber from February.

We will also give consideration to enable the reuse of rubber materials other than wetsuit materials.

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