In 2015, the Japanese ski and outdoor brand Goldwin and a biomaterial innovator, Spiber, started working on the practical application of structural protein materials – called Brewed Protein™ – in the outdoor industry. Brewed Protein refers to artificial protein materials produced from plant-derived biomass using a proprietary fermentation process. These materials can be processed into a variety of forms that are used in the apparel industry, with examples ranging from delicate filament fibers with a silky sheen to spun yarns that boast features such as cashmere-like softness and the renowned thermal and moisture-wicking properties of wool. According to Spiber and Goldwin, the technology also enables the production of animal-free fur and leather alternatives.
After the Planetary Equilibrium Tee in 2018 and the Moon Parka in 2019, both made and marketed only in Japan, Goldwin and Spiber announced the third product of their joint project last week. Called simply The Sweater, it’s the world’s first knitted garment made with Brewed Protein. The Sweater is available in Japan, the USA and Europe in limited quantities via pre-order until Nov. 30 for €800. If too many orders are received, the recipients will be drawn at random.
According to the collaborators, The Sweater is a milestone in their shared mission to reduce the fashion industry’s impact on the environment by replacing traditional, petrochemical-based materials and production methods with innovative, biobased solutions. It also marks the beginning of a new phase in the partnership, which the companies call “Vision Quest,” a “project that unites partners around the world in the pursuit for a better future.”