The storied Japanese business philosophy of kaizen–roughly, “continuous improvement”–has been applied to HeatTech. From season to season, the improvements can be dramatic. The 2011 yarn has 88 threads, the 2012 just 64–”but it’s even warmer!” the worker says.
“We are not a fashion company,” Yanai likes to say. “We are a technology company.” He is so fond of this line, he repeats it during each of my three meetings with him. Finally, I ask him what kind of technology he’d like to see on Uniqlo’s shelves. He goes wide-eyed and blue-sky on me. “One-size-fits-all clothing,” he suggests, thinking of fabric that automatically adapts to the wearer’s contours. “Clothes that do not require any laundry. Just rinse it in water, shake it off, and all the dirt is gone.” He thinks a moment longer. “Or depending on your mood for the day, maybe fabric where the color may change.”
For the moment, Uniqlo’s key innovation is a proprietary heat-retaining synthetic material called HeatTech. “People once thought cotton underwear was the best,” Yanai says. “Synthetics were only good for mountain climbing or outdoor use, and they were not seen as comfortable.” Developed with Toray Industries, HeatTech begins its life in the western Japanese prefecture of Ishikawa, a lovely coastal plain ringed by snow-hatted mountains that is a longtime center for textile innovation. There, in a remarkably versatile factory that also produces carbon fiber for wind-turbine blades and Boeing Dreamliners, Toray makes the polyester-and-nylon yarn that eventually becomes HeatTech long johns, T-shirts, and socks.
Scenius – local bursts of innovation; the communal form of genius.
Examples: Athens between 440 BC and 380 BC; Florence between 1450 and 1490.
She says, “your previous posts contained something intangible, but this photo? There is nothing special in this one other then that she is skateboarding”.
I think the points that she’s making are interesting. I understand them but I don’t agree.
Because I’ve been traveling so much internationally, when I come back to New York I see the city with very fresh, clear eyes.
I see more easily what makes this city unique.
Yes, this photo is a common sight to this commenter because it’s in her own backyard. However, you can’t take a photo like this in Paris, Milan, Morocco or Tokyo.
A year later, the Association of Lebanese Industrialists threatened legal action to prevent Israel from selling hummus under the hummus name, which means chickpea in Arabic; the argument, in essence, was that as it goes for sparkling wine, where only bottles of a precise provenance qualify as Champagne, so it should for the tangy purée. By 2009, Lebanon and Israel had found a different way to settle their hummus differences: a competition to build the world’s single largest dish of the stuff. Israel whipped up an 8,993-pound batch, only to have Lebanon strike back with a decisive 23,042-pounder.
love the way it’s being used and love the whole concept of the website. marvellous work.
-Mitja Miklavcic, designer of FF Tisa, via Twitter
I was surfing the web and arrived (in a roundabout way) at your site, even more surprisingly I found a shot of mine being used for your July 21st issue. I just wanted to drop you a quick line and say I think your site looks great and I love the content. I’m happy that you were able to include my work somehow and keep up the good work.
The New Minimum is a magazine about unique perspectives. We realized that the web has lots of good ideas but has a hard time with presenting them in a compelling manner. Our priority is to match good content with great art direction.
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the new minimum is best viewed in a modern browser. We recommend Safari on a Mac. It’s powered by WordPress. The headlines are set in League Gothic, and the text is FF Tisa. Both are served by Typekit. Some of the software that enabled this labor of love include Adobe’s Creative Suite and Panic’s Coda. the new minimum was lovingly designed with, coded on, and inspired by Apple products.
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