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Asics Steps Up Innovation With Acquisition of Smart Fabrics Maker

Asics Corp. has taken an equity stake in Pyrates Smart Fabrics, a Spanish startup that develops and supplies advanced and responsible fabrics.

The investment, made through the Asics Ventures Corp. subsidiary, is expected to result in a capsule collection made from Pyratex fabrics early next year.

Following three years of research and development, Pyrates Smart Fabrics has developed a range of nine Pyratex knitted fabrics that can be applied in the fields of sportswear, underwear, ready-to-wear and athleisure. The company, established in 2014 and led by Regina Polanco, said with high environmental performance and social consideration, some of the fabrics are certified by Oeko-Tex Standard 100, which assures the articles contain no harmful substances.

Pyratex luxury knit fabrics are made from either vegetal, upcycled or biodegradable fibers. The active components of Pyratex fabrics are embedded in the fabric instead of being injected or applied as an additive, offering long-lasting performance.

Pyratex fabrics are knit in Italy at a facility that carries the Tessile e Salute certificate, which measures eco-toxicology in the textile and fashion sectors by monitoring and evaluating the various phases of an item’s entire production chain.

Pyrates Smart Fabrics participated in the first edition of the Asics Tenkan-Ten Growth Catalyst, a global corporate acceleration program for sports and well-being growth-stage startups. Through the program, Asics provided high-performance services, mentoring, networking and financial support that allowed Pyrates Smart Fabrics to expand its business and to reach investment-ready status.

In 2018, five startups from across the globe were selected to be part of the first program. The newest edition started in September and will end in January.

Asics said its corporate mission is to include social and environmental considerations in all business decisions. In that realm, the company focuses on introducing advanced technologies into its products to improve sustainability and functionality, and shifting to sustainable materials.

Last week, Asics unveiled advanced apparel technology with thermal body mapping designed to help athletes maintain peak performance, even in more intense heat conditions. Developed in the lab at the Asics Institute of Sport Science in Kobe, Japan, the new apparel also contains water-repellent material for a lighter, less sticky feel. A combination of course and fine open mesh for ventilation gives athletes a comfortable feel to meet the demands of competing in various demanding conditions.