Will the future of fabric be grown by scientist farmers in labs versus out on large parcels of land? When Adidas unveiled a sneaker prototype late last year, dubbed the Futurecraft Biofabric and featuring an upper made from a synthetic spider silk called Biosteel, the news was covered everywhere from Fast Company and Complex to Wired and PC Magazine. Most headlines homed in on the same thing: at the end of their lifetime the shoes’ uppers could be broken down in a sink at home using a digestive enzyme and safely rinsed down the drain in a matter of hours.
A triumph indeed, but what got fiber folks giddy with excitement was that a major brand with mass-market appeal had finally picked up a nature-based sustainable material grown in a lab using renewable resources.
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