In what is a novel twist on fermentation, the technical ski-wear label Goldwin and a biomaterial innovator Spiber are rolling out what they claim is the world’s first knitted garment made with Brewed Protein.
Flagged as “The Sweater,” the design is part of the two companies’ joint effort to replace petrochemical-based materials that are commonly used in the fashion industry with bio-based solutions. The design requires a technology that makes a completely petrochemical- and animal product-free fabric. Its production involves the use of Brewed Protein, a biopolymer whose plant-based microbial fermentation process aims to lessen the use of animal products and plastics in an assortment of industries. Essentially, it is grown in a factory, but is not necessarily synthetic.
The ski sweater-inspired item is made with 30 percent Brewed Protein and 70 percent wool. Brewed Protein refers to artificial protein materials produced from plant-derived biomass using a proprietary fermentation process. Brewed Protein materials can be processed into a variety of forms that are used in the apparel industry such as delicate filament fibers with a silky sheen. Now available to pre-order, the $800 Japanese-made pullover will be produced in limited runs.
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Established in September 2007, Spiber Inc. is a Japanese biotechnology startup utilizing cutting-edge synthetic biology, polymer, and material science for the development of Brewed Protein™, a novel protein-based material that can be used to create fibers, films, resins, and more. Produced through microbial fermentation and utilizing agricultural feedstocks as their primary raw material, Brewed Protein™ materials are well-positioned to make significant contributions to animal-free and plastic-free initiatives in a range of fields, such as the apparel and automotive industries.
Original article published on WWD.com - 10 November 2020 Written by Rosemary Feitelberg