Viridian Note 00263: Vitamin Fabrics

Bruce Sterling []

Key concepts: Vitamin C, impregnated fabrics, V-Up shirt, Fuji Spinning Company

Attention Conservation Notice: More about clothing, and it's one of those weird, whimsical ones.

Sources: 16 July, 02001 pacific/newsid_1442000/1442057.stm

"T-shirt fills vitamin gap

    "Why eat when you can wear?

    "A Japanese company says people will soon be able to get their daily dose of Vitamin C simply by wearing a T- shirt.

    "The Fuji Spinning Company has developed a fibre containing a chemical called pro-vitamin, which turns into Vitamin C on contact with human skin. (...)

"A T-shirt made out of fibre == called V-up == would have the equivalent vitamin content of two lemons and remain effective after 30 washes. (((A triumph for Japanglish neologisms; "my shirt overdosed me with vitamins, and that made me 'V-up.'")))

    "Company spokesman Makoto Suzuki says the product is aimed at women who are interested in skin care.

    "Lace underwear (((This is where it gets good.)))

    "'Women can make up their face but they cannot make up their body,' he told the BBC's East Asia Today programme. (((Oh come on! The killer app for clothes that can feed you isn't rich civilian women who can't buy enough make- up. It's obviously starving refugees in camps and the military on patrol. Intravenous feed is great for those who are critically weak, and if these were your BVD's under one of those chem-proof ninja suits, you'd be living large.)))

    "'We are trying to develop other vitamins also.'" (((How about some Vitamin D? Then we can avoid scurvy, even if the Greenhouse deprives us of sunlight for months on end!)))

    "The company also produces fibres with anti-odour and anti-bacterial properties derived from catechin, a substance extracted from the shells of crabs and shrimp." (((Draw your own conclusion about the way that underwear smells.)))

    "The T-shirts should be on sale early in 2002. There are also plans for vitamin-enhanced lace underwear." (((And it's edible underwear! Am I kidding? You'll never know.)))

    "Health experts say the best way to get the required daily dose of vitamins is to eat a varied and balanced diet, containing lots of fruit and vegetables." (((What hopeless mandarin at the BBC insisted on inserting this last paragraph?)))

    ((((It's a real company, folks. And they really sell underwear. Get your "Spanfresh" and "Chitopoly" now.)))

Source:,1922,268405 ,00.html

"Fuji Spinning Company Limited (...)

    "The company specializes in developing value-added, functional textile products such as Spanfresh, a moisture- absorbing and -releasing elastane yarn used primarily in underwear. Other products include Chitopoly, an apparel fiber woven with catechin, a substance extracted from the shells of crab and shrimp that gives it odor-preventing and antibacterial properties. Fuji Spinning also produces and markets BVD-brand undergarments and shirts in Japan through a licensing agreement with Fruit of the Loom."

FINANCIAL OVERVIEW Fiscal Year-End: March 2000 Sales (mil.): 687.00
Employees: 1,700
Revenue per employee: $404,117.65

KEY PEOPLE: Hiroshi Yasuhara, CEO

18-12, Nihonbashi-Ningyo-cho, 1-chome, Chuo-ku Tokyo 103-0013, Japan
Phone: 81-3-3665-7777
Fax: 81-3-3665-7675

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