Japanese ‘Spider-Man’ Hopes to Spin Startup Gold from Artificial Silk

Later this year, outdoor-gear retailer North Face will offer its environmentally conscious shoppers at its outlet in Tokyo’s posh Harajuku fashion district a chance to save the planet. North Face’s outlets in Japan will sell a $1,000, special edition “Moon Parka,” a gold-colored jacket based on the design of its existing Antarctica parka, made out of synthetic spider silk, a super-strong material developed by Spiber Inc. Spiber President Kazuhide Sekiyama, 33, who invented the company’s technology to make artificial spider silk, said releasing what he calls the world’s first commercial piece of clothing made from the bio-fiber protein material is just the beginning. Spiber and its partner Goldwin Inc., a Japanese sports apparel maker, plan to expand the use of the ersatz silk-made products, possibly for underwear products used by…


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