The Moon Parka is made using structural protein materials that Goldwin and Spiber have been jointly developing since 2015

The Moon Parka is made using structural protein materials that Goldwin and Spiber have been jointly developing since 2015

What is said to be the world's first outerwear jacket made with protein material produced via microbial fermentation is due to be released later this year under a collaboration between Japanese biotech startup Spiber and The North Face Japan (Goldwin).

The 'Moon Parka,' which is set for a limited release of just 50 items in Japan on 12 December, has been under development since 2015.

It is the second item launched under The North Face and Spiber's collaborative project – The North Face Sp – and follows the unveiling of the Moon Parka prototype in 2016.

The latest iteration of the parka, with an outer layer made from 100% jointly-developed Brewed Protein materials, is claimed to be the world's first commercially available outerwear jacket to use structural proteins produced through a microbial fermentation process that does not rely on petrochemical resources.

Brewed Protein materials are the protein fibres, films, and other types of materials manufactured using Spiber's proprietary fermentation (brewing) process. Using plant-derived sugars as primary raw ingredients, Brewed Protein materials are well placed to address increasing market pressure for animal-free, microplastic-free alternatives in the apparel industry, the firm says.

A breathable, waterproof laminate forms the middle layer of the shell, and the inner padding uses 900 fill power Cleandown to ensure heat retention.

"Through our joint research and development initiative, we are striving to re-evaluate our way of thinking about the relationship between nature and mankind," the firms say.

"By considering how to balance functionality with environmental considerations, and by examining the role of products and the economy, Goldwin and Spiber hope to arrive at a solution for creating sports apparel items which can support a lifestyle in harmony with nature. In doing so, we believe we can make a considerable contribution to the development of a sustainable world. It is this belief that drives our continued effort towards this goal."

The Moon Parka will be priced at JPY150,000 plus tax (US1,413), with applications to purchase via a pre-order lottery form limited to within Japan only.