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“The Sweater” is knitted from a plant-based biopolymer

EcoNote | December 21, 2020 | By:

Photo: Goldwin

Japanese technical apparel brand, Goldwin, and biomaterial innovator, Spiber, have created what the companies call the world’s first knitted garment made with Brewed Protein™, a biopolymer created from a plant-based microbial fermentation process.

Named simply “The Sweater,” it is the partnership’s first Brewed Protein™ garment brought to market in the U.S. It was designed to emulate a traditional ski sweater, with low gauge knit and twisted yarn for a soft and comfortable feel. The companies say the product 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. 

Fast fashion is among the leading contributors to climate change and a major consumer of natural resources. Research suggests it may account for 8 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions globally. Additionally, fabrics predominantly used in fast fashion—polyester, nylon and other synthetics —are petroleum-based and shed microplastics, making them potentially harmful to the environment. 

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