Toray, the Japanese chemical and materials company, has developed a nylon 60 percent of whose contents are drawn from a biological source – specifically, the sebacic acid in castor beans. Given the trade name Ecodear Nylon, the fiber can be spun in the same manner as conventional nylons, is both durable and soft, and will be available initially in 10, 20 and 50 denier versions. It will be used to make bio-based versions of existing Toray textiles, such as the Dermizax membrane and Entrant waterproof fabric. Toray plans to begin marketing Ecodear in the outdoor sports, skiing and athleisure markets this autumn.