The next feat to spin out of Pangaia’s laboratory is a limited-run sweatshirt made partly with brewed proteins.
Launched Tuesday, the capsule ushers in a new multiyear partnership between Pangaia and Japanese biotech start-up Spiber Inc., and marks the first time Spiber’s “Brewed Protein” fibers and organic cotton make their way into a major apparel launch. The amount of investment behind the partnership is undisclosed, but Spiber is one of the top-funded material firms with more than $600 million in funding since 2015.
“This is our first product with Spiber, and we will continue developing new products with Brewed Protein fibers,” said Dr. Amanda Parkes, chief innovation officer, Pangaia. “We can’t share anything just yet — but stay tuned.” Parkes said Brewed Protein fibers are already a “disruptive” alternative in the race away from non carbon-polluting materials.
Established in September 2007, Spiber Inc. taps cutting-edge synthetic biology, polymer and material science in the making of its Brewed Protein materials made from plant-based sugars that undergo a microbial fermentation process.
Parkes shared how Pangaia and Spiber met many years ago and came together around the “shared conviction” that biofabrication could offer the fashion industry much more responsible solutions.
The limited-run “Nxt Gen” hoodie is available on pangaia.com for $395 in sizes XXS to XXL and counts less than 200 pieces in production. The sweatshirt — made of a blend of just 12 percent Brewed Protein fiber and 88 percent organic cotton — is displayed at the Biofabricate Summit in New York City.
“Not many brands have the capabilities and patience to harness a completely new material like Brewed Protein fiber to create a first-of-a-kind product. It has been a great experience working with the Pangaia team….After over two years of joint development, we are very excited to finally see the world’s first sweatshirts containing Brewed Protein fiber being produced by Pangaia,” said Kenji Higashi, Spiber’s head of business development, sales and sustainability.