Materials science company Pangaia and Japanese biotech start-up Spiber have teamed up to unveil the world’s first sweatshirt featuring ‘Brewed Protein’ fibres and organic cotton.
The launch is the first time a product made from ‘Brewed Protein’ fibres will be available worldwide for purchase and also marks the beginning of a multiyear partnership between Pangaia and Spiber to find bio-based alternatives to fossil fuel and animal-derived fibres.
Dr. Amanda Parkes, chief innovation officer at Pangaia, said in a statement: “Spiber’s Brewed Protein fibres will disrupt the way we create fabrics through bio-fabrication and allow brands to transition away from carbon-polluting materials.
“The Spiber team shows a deep and impressive commitment to complex innovation; we both were eager to bring this capsule to life through Pangaia Lab and show the cutting-edge technology is ready to scale.”
Pangaia enters into a multiyear partnership with biotech firm Spiber
Spiber Inc. is a Japanese biotechnology start-up that uses cutting-edge synthetic biology, polymer, and material science to make its ‘Brewed Protein’ materials made from plant-derived biomass using a proprietary fermentation process that produces a biological building block that can be sculpted for different applications.
‘Brewed Protein’ polymers can be transformed into a variety of forms, from delicate filament fibres with a silky sheen to spun yarns that have cashmere-like softness or the thermal and moisture-wicking properties of wool.
Both companies also add that ‘Brewed Protein’ fibres are “well-positioned to address numerous pressing environmental issues and risks,” unlike many existing synthetic materials. Their large-scale production is expected to produce significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions and require less land and water use than traditional animal-derived fibres such as cashmere.
Kenji Higashi, head of business development, sales and sustainability at Spiber, added: “Not many brands have the capabilities and patience to harness a completely new material like ‘Brewed Protein’ fibre to create a first-of-a-kind product.
“It has been a great experience working with the Pangaia team, whose members brought world class technical expertise and scientific insight to our joint project, and whose mission to enable innovative solutions for a more sustainable world overlaps with our own. After over two years of joint development, we are very excited to finally see the world's first sweatshirts containing ‘Brewed Protein’ fibre being produced by Pangaia.”
The ‘Nxt Gen’ hoodie powered by ‘Brewed Protein’ has a limited run of 200 worldwide and will be available on pangaia.com for 395 US dollars in sizes XXS to XXL. The sweatshirt will also be displayed at the Biofabricate Summit in New York City.