Adidas Makes Biodegradable Sneaker From Artificial Spider Silk

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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.

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SNEAK PEEK

“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.

RELATED | The North Face Makes Parka From Synthetic Spider Silk

“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.”

+ Adidas

+ AMSilk

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6 Responses to “Adidas Makes Biodegradable Sneaker From Artificial Spider Silk”

  1. ccc says:

    Vegan? Ethical? well, they are only made from GMO goats’ milk (thus you still need to kill/deal with the kids)…

  2. battery powered (@Marius) says:

    Biodegrading plastics are the problem in our oceans today, we need compostable plastics made from plant oils like hemp not petroleum.

  3. Jasmin Malik Chua says:

    The biopolymer is neither plastic nor, as far as we can tell, derived from milk.

  4. veggie guide says:

    It appears that he/she is correct. This spidersilk “Biosteel” is created only through experimenting and breeding genetically modified goats.

    It is sad that this is the direction Adidas is choosing to take it’s so called “sustainability”.

    I would be interested to hear from the Ecouterre admins to learn of their views on this matter.

    Mike

  5. Jasmin Malik Chua says:

    I believe the confusion is due to very similar names—there used to be a “BioSteel” that was indeed synthesized from the milk of transgenic goats. AMSilk’s version seems to be a different beast (so to speak), but the company hasn’t elaborated on its precise process, likely due to its proprietary nature.

  6. veggie guide says:

    Jasmin: I have looked into this further and it looks that you are right. Though AmSilk seems to have taken over where Nexia (who previously owned the trademark “Biosteel”) left off. It looks that they are using E. coli to achieve this. My mistake.

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