18th November 2016, Planegg/New York
A leader in the sporting goods industry, adidas has unveiled the world’s first performance shoe made using Biosteel fibre, a replication of natural silk, at the Biofabricate Conference that took place yesterday in New York.
The adidas Futurecraft Biofabric prototype shoe features an upper made from 100% Biosteel fibre, a nature-based and biodegradable high-performance fibre, developed by the German biotech company AMSilk.
The material is said to offer a unique combination of properties that are crucial in performance, such as being 15% lighter in weight than conventional synthetic fibres and having the potential to be the strongest fully natural material available.
Biosteel fibre also provides a far more sustainable offering, with it being 100% biodegradable in a fully natural process, according to the company. 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 manufacturer reports.
“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,” commented Jens Klein, CEO of AMSilk.
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 fibre in performance products on a larger scale.
“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,” said James Carnes, Vice President of Strategy Creation at adidas.
“This concept represents premium innovation. By using Biosteel fibre 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.”
The release of the adidas Futurecraft Biofabric shoe comes in a year where adidas has released a series of products aimed at pushing the boundaries of sneaker innovation. These include the Futurecraft Tailored Fibre, which utilised innovative 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.
The company says these 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.