HELSINKI, Oct. 26, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Introducing JUNKAN, a new circular textile service platform launched at the Textile & Fashion Forum Helsinki 2023. Derived from the Japanese words ‘Jun’ (meaning dependaple or follow) and ‘Kan’ (meaning to go around without end), JUNKAN signifies to follow the circular flow – a core principle of the circular economy and circular textiles. Based in Helsinki, Finland, JUNKAN Oy is a newly established company specialising in rental, reuse and repair services for consumers, brands, retail, and organisations in Europe. Rooted in Japan, JUNKAN brings decades of expertise in functional clothing, responsible manufacturing and high-quality repair and inspection.
JUNKAN is a joint venture between three Japanese companies Furushima, hap Inc. and Ciriot. JUNKAN is not just a new company; it’s a game-changer in the world of textile sustainability, bringing together the latest in textile technology with over a century of experience in clothing and fashion. “At JUNKAN we want to combine this expertise with world-leading circular economy and sustainability expertise in Helsinki & Nordics, and while doing so, introduce a scalable circular textiles services platform – “a clothing as a service” for the European markets,” says Yoko Yasuda, Director at JUNKAN Oy.
JUNKAN arrives in Helsinki at a crucial juncture in the textile industry. Nearly 30% of produced textiles remain unsold, resulting in unsustainable practices and significant financial losses. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation estimates that the industry loses over $500 billion annually due to clothing due to clothing underutilisation and inadequate recycling.
Furthermore, textile production is resource-intensive, consuming vast amounts of water and chemicals that often end up contaminating water sources, contributing to pollution. These challenges make Junkan’s mission even more critical. Circular economy in the textile industry has become a pivotal force in combating the environmental challenges posed by fashion industry and textile waste. Extending the lifetime of a garment with rental repairing and repurposing is crucial in the battle against fast fashion.
Why Helsinki for New Materials and Textiles
Helsinki is the ideal launchpad for JUNKAN’s groundbreaking initiatives in textile sustainability. The city’s commitment to sustainability and a circular economy aligns seamlessly with the vision of JUNKAN. The ecosystem in Helsinki is focused on developing sustainable materials that can replace polluting traditional materials such as plastics, cotton and concrete in various industries. Helsinki aims to be carbon neutral by 2030 and a circular economy by 2050.
JUNKAN’s entry into Helsinki is a significant milestone in the textile industry’s journey towards sustainability. However, it’s not the first venture in Finland to champion innovative textile practices. Other notable examples include Infinited Fiber, Spinnova, Kuura, and Fluff Stuff. Finns excel at creating cutting-edge textile fibers, including harnessing cellulose to replace traditional materials like cotton, viscose, and polyester. Moreover, the Helsinki Metropolitan area boasts top-notch R&D facilities that facilitate collaboration across industry borders, driven by tight public-private-people partnerships.
“As JUNKAN sets out on its journey to revolutionise textiles circular lifetime concept and offer choices for traditional ownership, it extends a warm invitation to new partners and innovators who share its vision for new circular textiles shared market ecosystem,” states Jarkko Jussila, President, Europe at JUNKAN Oy.
Sonja Malin, Senior Advisor at Helsinki Partners expressed her excitement, stating, “We have been fortunate to witness these three companies discover synergies and establish a new home in Helsinki, bolstering the local ecosystem. JUNKAN is poised to make a substantial impact on the circular textile industry in Europe.”
Junkan President, Europe, Junkan Oy
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