Japan – The North Face has developed a prototype of the Moon Parka, a high-performance jacket made from synthetic spider silk.
Following the announcement in September that Spiber and Goldwin – marketers of The North Face in Japan – have entered a partnership to develop next-generation sportswear, the companies have revealed plans to release The North Face Moon Parka in 2016.
Based on the premium Antarctica Parka, the outerwear jacket has been constructed from QMONOS, a synthetic spider silk made by manipulating proteins at a molecular level. Performance credentials aside, the biomaterial also represents efforts to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing process.
‘The sports apparel market now uses large amounts of petroleum-based materials such as polyester and nylon,’ The North Face Japan’s Hiroshi Miyazaki tells LS:N Global. ‘Through our joint partnership with the equally motivated Spiber, we have taken on the big mission of changing this status quo.’
The companies are continuing their collaborative research and development activities, and are targeting a release date of 2016 as they strive to produce the material at $100 per kg, the same cost as producing regular silk, and the barrier required to make it commercially viable, according to Compass magazine.
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