Fashion: Japanese entrepreneur unveils artificial spider silk

(From Bloomberg)

Later this year, outdoor-gear retailer North Face will offer its environmentally conscious shoppers at its outlet in Tokyo’s posh Harajuku fashion district a chance to save the planet.

Spiber President Kazuhide Sekiyama.

Spiber president Kazuhide Sekiyama.

North Face’s outlets in Japan will sell a $1,000, special edition “Moon Parka,” a gold-colored jacket based on the design of its existing Antarctica parka, made out of synthetic spider silk, a super-strong material developed by Spiber Inc.

Spiber President Kazuhide Sekiyama, 33, who invented the company’s technology to make artificial spider silk, said releasing what he calls the world’s first commercial piece of clothing made from the bio-fiber protein material is just the beginning.

Spiber and its partner Goldwin Inc., a Japanese sports apparel maker, plan to expand the use of the ersatz silk-made products, possibly for underwear products used by mountain climbers or the Canterbury rugby wear brand.

“What makes a protein-based material marvelous is it’s evolving” in the use of apparel or other forms of industrial products, Sekiyama said in an interview in Tokyo. Read More



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