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Teijin to Enter Health-Enhancing Fiber Market

Psychologists say clothing can affect a person’s mood. Now, a Japanese fiber maker wants to create apparel that will improve its wearer’s health, too.

Teijin Frontier, an Osaka-based subsidiary of chemical company Teijin, has been granted permission to manufacture and sell a textile that it’s calling a “beauty product you can wear.”

According to Nikkei, the company will partner with Japanese activewear brand Descente and sell yoga and running apparel made from the health-enhancing fabric next summer, citing a customer base comprising women ages 30 to 50.

Made from a modified polyester polymer containing malic acid (touted for its skin-brightening and smoothing effects and often used in anti-aging products), the new textile will have antimicrobial and antibacterial properties that will help the skin maintain healthy pH levels during a workout.

Additionally, Teijin plans to sell underwear made from the fabric under its own brand in fiscal 2016, priced at about 3,000 yen (or $24.22).

It’s not the only Japanese fiber manufacturer entering the health market. Nikkei reports that Toray Industries wants to apply for approval to sell a textile suitable for “smart clothing” that can monitor such physiological data as the heartbeat.

Earlier this month, Toray and Uniqlo announced a new five-year deal that includes plans to develop new sportswear that enhances people’s daily lives as well as the research and development of products that offer completely new added value.

The agreement is the third stage in a strategic partnership first established 10 years ago. The Fast Retailing-owned apparel chain relies on Toray for the production of its Heattech fabric, a blend of polyester, acrylic, rayon and spandex that goes into a range of clothing, including underwear, tops, bottoms, hosiery and accessories.