Japan-based Kuraray Co, a division of Kurabo Industries, has launched Claretta, an eco-friendly yarn that derives from cereal waste.

"In a world which is, rightly, placing ever increasing importance on environmental issues, to be able to offer fabric that has all the easy care advantages associated with man-made fibres but which at the end of its useful life as a garment can be discarded in the knowledge that its basic components are fully biodegradable is a tremendous plus for the textile manufacturer," the company said.

A spokesperson said that, unlike wood pulp-based viscose, the increased use of Claretta would not add to the drain on the world's forests as it draws on readily available cereal waste.

Kuraray added that it is giving first priority to marketing its branded Claretta yarn to the European market.

By Sonia Roberts