Connecting business operations with contribution to society

Contributing to a rich life for people with a variety of technologies and products, opening the future by working to the limit against environmental degradation


Participation in Business Call to Action led by United Nations Development Programme:
For sustainable development of India's fiber industry

Education at a fashion university

Demand for ethnic garments in India
2007:Saris1,720、Dupattas76 / 2008:Saris1,596、Dupattas72 / 2009:Saris1,729、Dupattas88 / 2010:Saris1,798、Dupattas98 / 2011:Saris1,918、Dupattas103 / 2012:Saris2,029、Dupattas109 (million garments)

Young women keep their eyes fixed on saris and dupattas that are woven from Asahi Kasei’s Bemberg™ cupro regenerated cellulose fiber. They are pleasantly soft, drape comfortably on the skin, and have colorful patterns. This is a university classroom in India where students are studying fashion. Bemberg™ is the subject of the lecture.

Bemberg™ is the brand name for cupro. It is a regenerated cellulose fiber made from cotton linter—the short downy fibers on cotton seeds—featuring a luxurious silky feel, moisture absorption/release, and superior comfort. Being made from material of natural origin, it is an environmentally compatible fiber. Indian saris and other ethnic garments are traditionally made from silk. But silk is difficult to handle, and quite expensive. Asahi Kasei realized that Bemberg™ would be a good alternative to silk for saris and dupattas, and began selling it in India 40 years ago. Today, saris and other ethnic garments made of Bemberg™ are worn by many women.

In developing the Bemberg™ business in India, Asahi Kasei became involved both directly and indirectly in the value chain from raw material to finished fabric. In order to empower the local residents through their active participation in business activities, Asahi Kasei has worked to help them develop skills, secure stable income, and create new business opportunities. Asahi Kasei also focuses on fostering young talent that will lead the future of India’s fiber industry and fashion industry, providing support for university education to develop the potential of the next generation.

In May 2015, Asahi Kasei joined the Business Call to Action (BCtA)1 led by the United Nations Development Programme2, and has been promoting inclusive business with Bemberg™ fiber. “Although corporate growth and profitability are important, in today's society a company can no longer act as a single entity seeking only its own benefits. To pursue sustainable development, a company also needs to promote initiatives that facilitate the well-being of local residents as well as the development of the community. That is the key to sustainable development of a business,” says Takehiro Kamiyama, General Manager of Bemberg Sales Dept. 2 in Asahi Kasei’s Fibers & Textiles SBU.

Day by day, Asahi Kasei's Bemberg™ business is helping India's fiber industry achieve sustainable development, while contributing to the local community.

Bemberg™ business initiatives in India

  • We currently procure from India some one-third of the cotton linter used for the production of cupro yarn. To support local producers, we loan equipment to collect cotton linter free of charge, and have engineers stationed in India to provide the local workers with training and technical instructions for improving productivity.
  • Cotton linter imported to Japan is processed into cupro yarn, which is exported to India and sold to weavers. We also provide continuing technical guidance on weaving and dyeing in the fabric production process in India.
  • We also focus on the education of young people and students who will lead the next generation of India’s fiber industry and fashion industry, and contribute to human resource development by supporting the enhancement of skills at several Indian universities.

Female Indian students studying Bemberg™ business in Japan

Two female students majoring in Textile Design at India's National Institute of Design (NID), one undergraduate and one graduate student, came to Japan as interns of Asahi Kasei for six weeks from June 2016. The internship covered a wide range of subjects, including the production of Bemberg™ and examples of its use in its fabric. Professor Srivastava Aarti of NID, who accompanied the students, said, “Bemberg™ is a wonderful alternative to silk, it’s cool and has a soft feel. As a textile designer myself, I really want to use this material.”