Toyo Enterprises have been manufacturing textiles in Japan since 1965, but dates back to the 40's as Kosho & Co. as a supplier for American soldiers stationed in Japan. Their products developed together with American culture through the bases, and their love and admiration of the historical hallmarks of western workwear from the end of the 19th century to the 1960s is fervent. But it was with the creation of their own flagship brand Sugar Cane & Co. that they were able to spotlight their detail dedication and principled craftsmanship.
Their denim making process began with meticulous research of the original pieces and utilizing lab analysis of fabric and yarn structure to obtain precision - even using the same origin based cotton blends as were used in the west. The original dyes, weaving, construction, and hardware are re-fabricated and put together using refurbished antique machines to faithfully produce what Brando rebels, steelworkers, rock n rollers, and cowboys would recognize. The Sugar Cane philosophy maintains that truly authentic vintage-inspired denim can only be revived through the exact methods and production as the iconic standards of the American labor force’s proud uniform. However, they don’t stop at perfect reproductions.
Yuichi Fukutomi, director of Sugar Cane, guides each design through every step of manufacturing, from planning to final production. From the stalwart foundation of comprehensively built reproductions, original signatures were first perfected and then delivered under the brand. Their own blend for denim uses a 50/50 mixture of cotton to sugar cane fibers. Not only does this result in a sweetly smelling brand new pair, but also is better for the environment due to sustainability and renewability. They look rough and uneven on the surface with warp yarns that fade into an ocean blue, just as they should. Hand dyed and then secured with top quality hardware, Sugar Cane’s denim is simplicity and functionality that looks classic from a distance, but rewards those with an eye to detail.
Not only does Sugar Cane research and design some of the most scrupulously detailed workwear with the type of constitution to endure the weight of work, but they also produce all of their own original fabrics. The results are principled vintage excellence at half the price of most other Japanese made, heritage inspired brands - equal parts savings and investment.
Read more about Sugar Cane and Toyo Enterprises in our feature about Suka Jackets: The Suka Jacket: History to Present