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Traveling somewhere this winter? If your near future holds a few flights in Japan on All Nippon Airways, be sure to wear your best Uniqlo Heattech items as your outfit and the airplane you're in may match.
Confused? Allow us to explain. Uniqlo developed their "revolutionary material" Heattech with the giant Japanese fabrics company Toray Industries. The shirts, leggings and more of the Heattech line are "a carefully engineered composite of acrylic rayon and polyester...torture-tested to assure the ultimate in strength, flexibility, and thinness." Hmm...that sounds like the 23 tons of carbon fiber put into each of Boeing's new lightweight 787 Dreamliner airplanes, the carbon fiber also made by?you guessed it?Toray Industries.
It's actually not surprising that two seemingly drastically different companies such as Uniqlo and Boeing are currently working with Toray. The Tokyo-based conglomerate's mantra is "Innovation by Chemistry," not to mention it's both the world's largest producer of carbon fiber (which Boeing needs), and Japan's largest producer of synthetic fiber (which Uniqlo needs).
Let's get crazy for a second now. Uniqlo and its parent company Fast Retailing have huge retail expansion plans, and they certainly have enough money to start an airline. Heck, in 2007 they tried to buy Barneys New York for $900 million; that cash will get them several brand-spanking new 787 Dreamliners, machines already slightly woven?pardon the pun?into Uniqlo's rich fabric.
Would a Uniqlo airline be awesome? Yes. Will it happen? No, but that doesn't mean we can't daydream from seat 34A. The closest we'll get to Uniqlo airplanes already exist, in ANA's burgeoning 787 fleet.
· There's a Heattech Tunnel Inside the Uniqlo Fifth Avenue Flagship [Racked NY]
· Nicola Formichetti Teams Up with Uniqlo's Innovation Project [Racked]
· Inside the Boeing 787 Dreamliner Factory Line [Jaunted]