New York City, Thursday 17 November 2016 – adidas has today unveiled the world’s first performance shoe made using Biosteel® fiber – a replication of natural silk – at the Biofabricate Conference in New York.
The adidas Futurecraft Biofabric prototype shoe features an upper made from 100% Biosteel® fiber, a nature-based and completely biodegradable high-performance fiber, developed by the German biotech company AMSilk. The material offers a unique combination of properties that are crucial in performance, such as being 15% lighter in weight than conventional synthetic fibers as well as having the potential to be the strongest fully natural material available.
In addition, Biosteel® fiber also provides a far more sustainable offering, with it being 100% biodegradable in a fully natural process. This continues adidas’ journey of sustainable innovation – from a starting point of virgin plastics, to recycled plastics, to its partnership with Parley for the Oceans and now a totally new frontier of investing in solutions that leverage science and nature as an integral part of innovation.
The shoe was unveiled at the renowned Biofabricate Conference in New York as adidas and AMSilk announce a partnership that will explore the use of Biosteel® fiber in performance products on a larger scale.
James Carnes, Vice President of Strategy Creation at adidas, said:
“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.
This concept represents premium innovation. By using Biosteel® fiber in our products, we have achieved an unrivalled 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.”
Jens Klein, CEO of AMSilk, said:
“The sports shoes which have been developed together with adidas are the first products worldwide with a high-performance material made of nature-identical silk biopolymers. With this development we are setting new standards regarding the functionality of renewable textiles.”
The release of the adidas Futurecraft Biofabric shoe comes in a year where adidas has released a series of products that have pushed the boundaries of sneaker innovation. These include the Futurecraft Tailored Fibre, which utilised revolutionary manufacturing techniques to enable unique footwear designs and the Futurecraft M.F.G., the first product to be created at adidas’ industry-changing SPEEDFACTORY facility.
These cutting-edge product developments have been complemented by adidas’ commitment to sustainability, with its relationship with Parley for the Oceans having led to the release of the first mass-produced footwear created using Parley Ocean Plastic, the UltraBOOST Uncaged Parley.
About the adidas Group
The adidas Group is a global leader in the sporting goods industry, offering a broad portfolio of footwear, apparel and hardware for sport and lifestyle around the core brands adidas, Reebok, TaylorMade and Reebok-CCM Hockey. Headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany, the Group employs more than 55,000 people across the globe and generated sales of around € 17 billion in 2015.
AMSilk GmbH is the world’s first industrial supplier of synthetic silk biopolymers and has its headquarters in Planegg near Munich, Germany. Sustainably produced using a patented biotechnological process, AMSilk high-performance biopolymers have the unique functional properties of the natural product they are based on. The organic high-performance material can be used in multiple ways, including in medical or technical products as well as cosmetic ingredients. AMSilk high-performance biopolymers give everyday products unique properties. Among other things, the polymers are biocompatible, breathable and robust.
Biofabricate is the annual summit for the emerging world of grown materials, hosted this year by Parsons School of Design on 5th Avenue, NYC on Thursday, November 17. From yeast and bacteria to mushrooms and mammalian cells, international attendees will discover disruptive research, and companies, literally growing the materials of the future. From architecture to apparel, Biofabricate is the event to experience how biotechnology is facilitating a new material revolution.