Adidas has just unveiled the first performance shoe made from artificial spider silk. The Futurecraft Biofabric, which debuted at the Biofabricate conference in New York City on Thursday, features an upper made from Biosteel, a 100 percent biodegradable filament derived from the same proteins that spiders use to make their tougher-than-Kevlar yet ultra-pliable webbing. Developed by Germany’s AMSilk, the fibers are said to be 15 percent lighter than their conventional synthetic counterparts, with the added potential of being the “strongest fully natural material available,” according to Adidas. Other purported benefits of the bio-based textile include moisture management, breathability, and protection against bacterial growth. Another plus? It’s completely vegan.
“In a year of ground-breaking innovations from Adidas, the announcement of our partnership with AMSilk—and the unveiling of the Adidas Futurecraft Biofabric shoe—is another step in our commitment to redefining the sports industry,” James Carnes, vice president of strategy creation at Adidas, said in a statement.
“By using Biosteel fiber, we are moving beyond ‘closed loop’ and into an infinite loop—or even no loop at all,” said Carnes.
Adidas and AMSteel will explore the use of Biosteel in a broader range of performance products at a larger scale, he said, adding that Biosteel could help usher the sportswear company into a new era of sustainable innovation.
“This concept represents premium innovation,” Carnes said. “By using Biosteel fiber in our products, we have achieved an unrivaled level of sustainability. We are moving beyond ‘closed loop’ and into an infinite loop—or even no loop at all. This is a pioneering stride forward beyond sustainability into a new territory of bionic innovation.”