Moon Parka is made from synthetic spider silk
The parka was originally to be released by The North Face, marketed by Goldwin, in 2016, but its release was postponed. Back then, Spiber’s QMONOS was said to be the world’s first successfully-produced synthetic spider silk material (since then, other brands have succeeded in making products with this material, like Bolt Threads and Adidas).
Currently, most sports apparel is made from synthetic materials such as polyester and nylon. These materials are made using petroleum, and consume massive amounts of energy to produce.
Spiber’s spider silk, on the other hand, is completely biodegradable. The company starts their process by designing molecules that can deliver high performance and tailored functionality, such as tensile strength or elasticity. They then alter a protein to match the performance criteria using a fermentation process. The fibroin that is made this way can be used to make fibres, films, sponges, resins, and other materials.
In case of the Moon Parka, the fibroin was used to make fibres, spun or woven into textile. The jacket’s design is based on The North Face’s Antarctica Parka.
It would seem that, since their announcement in 2015, Goldwin and Spiber have been busy developing the jacket further. The material used is called “Q/QMONOS”, no doubt an improvement of QMONOS. At present, the material is undergoing an array of quality verification procedures, before being brought to the market.
The ski jacket has been nominated for the Beazley Designs of the Year 2018 award, hosted by the Design Museum in London. The parka will be on display at the museum until 9 January 2019.
Photos: Goldwin / Spiber