Announcing MOON PARKA, a jointly developed prototype heading for commercialization from The North Face in 2016

The first step toward practical application of protein materials.
Announcing MOON PARKA, a jointly developed prototype
heading for commercialization from The North Face in 2016

On September 8, 2015, Spiber Inc. (Representative Executive Officer: Kazuhide Sekiyama, Head Office: 234-1 Mizukami, Kakuganji, Tsuruoka, Yamagata, 997-0052 Japan) and Goldwin Inc. (President and Representative Director: Akio Nishida, Head Office: 2-20-6 Shota, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8517 Japan, first section of Tokyo Stock Exchange, code number 8111) entered into a business partnership in the field of sports apparel to promote development of new products making use of high-performance next-generation materials.

Spiber, which has received support from the New Energy, Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), as well as the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI), has been selected for participation in several national projects (※1). GOLDWIN markets The North Face, a leading outdoor apparel brand in Japan. Together, Spiber and GOLDWIN are pleased to announce MOON PARKA, a new and exciting prototype developed as a joint research project for release by the North Face in 2016. The MOON PARKA signals the beginning of a new paradigm in sports apparel, combining the brand strength of The North Face with Spiber’s QMONOS(TM), the world’s first successfully-produced synthetic spider silk material. The moon is the most remote and extreme environment upon which man has set foot, and the MOON PARKA expresses the strong determination and spirit needed to explore locations even more extreme than the Antarctic, as well as the limitless possibilities this project holds.

In 2015, Spiber and Goldwin together launched a joint research project working toward the practical application of next-generation protein materials. The Moon Parka’s successful prototyping is based on The North Face’s top-of-the-line Antarctica Parka outerwear jacket. This achievement marks the world’s first successful use of synthetic spider silk materials on an actual manufacturing line, a giant leap toward fully harnessing the power of next-generation protein materials.

With a design inspired by the Antarctica Parka, the Moon Parka’s outer material is made from “Moon Gold” QMONOS(TM), with black QMONOS(TM) used for the embroidered logos. During the prototyping process, we chose the protein types in our library that are best suited to crafting the outer material and embroidery thread, then conducted extensive trials to find the perfect threads for the spinning, twisting, weaving, and sewing processes.

The Moon Parka is the world’s first piece of clothing made from artificial protein material, and the prototyping process gave us great insight into the challenges that we still face on the road to mass production. Aiming to solve these problems and bring the MOON PARKA to market as soon as possible, Spiber has allocated a total of 9.58416 billion yen of new third-party shares (see separate press release from Spiber). One by one, we will continue to solve the challenges we face, and through our collaborative research and development aim to bring the Moon Parka to our customers in 2016.

Currently, most sports apparel is made from synthetic polymer materials (such as polyester, nylon, etc.) that require petroleum to produce, and production of these materials consumes massive amounts of energy and produces large amounts of greenhouse gases. With the threat of the world’s fossil fuels running dry, the responsibility of shifting from non-renewable to sustainable resources rests with today’s society.

Through this joint development, Spiber and Goldwin plan to reduce the consumption of non-renewable resources and emission of greenhouse gases as much as possible, achieving a balance between humans and nature. By promoting outdoor apparel that makes practical use of these biodegradable yet tough, beautiful and sustainable protein materials, we are certain that we can have an unprecedented impact on humanity.

In 2012, Spiber was selected by METI to take part in the TRAHED program. In 2013, Spiber was selected for the second year in a row for NEDO’s “Innovation Commercialization Venture Support Project” to accelerate its R&D. Furthermore, in 2014 Spiber was named a core research organization by the Cabinet Office of the Government of Japan in the “Super High-Function Structural Proteins to Transform the Basic Materials Industry” project of the “Impulsing Paradigm Change through Disruptive Technologies (ImPACT)” Program to conduct research and development together with several other participating institutions.

Synthetic spider silk materials are comprised of proteins that are created through a microbial fermentation process that do not depend on petroleum (unlike materials such as polyester and nylon). With high mechanical strength and elasticity, this is a completely new type of material. Spiber is the first company to successfully produce these biomaterials on a commercial scale and is dedicated to leading the way to a world no longer dependent on petroleum.

Image: Textile used in the Moon Parka, a prototype by Spiber and The North Face

Image: Synthetic spider silk material QMONOS(TM) used in the Moon Parka
(Left: outer material thread; Right: embroidery thread)

[Moon Parka 2016]
The Moon Parka will be available to view by the public as follows.

2015.10.10 FRI–2015.10.18 SUN
Harajuku Sophia Building 1F, 6-10-11 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

2015.10.23 FRI–2015.11.01 SUN
Nittsu Minami Horie Building 1F, 1-20-1 Minami Horie, Nishi-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka

2015.11.06 FRI–2015.11.15 SUN
Canal City OPA 3F, 1-2-22 Sumiyoshi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka

2015.11.20 FRI–2015.11.29 SUN
5930-1 Hokujo, Kitaazumi-gun, Hakuba-mura, Nagano

2015.12.04 FRI–2015.12.18 SUN
B1F 2 jo-kan Sapporo Factory, Kita 2 jo Higashi, 4 cho-me Chuo-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido

2015.12.25 FRI–2016.01.10 SUN
1F Prime Square Hirose-dori, 2-9-27 Chuo, Aoba-ku, Sendai

Spiber Inc.:
Goldwin Inc.: