2024-07-21
Home SHOES'in'TECH A future of biobased materials is possible. That future has already begun
SHOES'in'TECH

A future of biobased materials is possible. That future has already begun

From the chemistry of petroleum to that which aims to develop the potential of proteins, passing through many materials that incorporate increasingly high percentages of natural elements.

A future of biobased materials is possible. That future has already begun

When petrochemicals were invented at the beginning of the 20th century, mankind entered a new era of developing polymeric materials. Since then, new polymers have been synthesised and new materials have been developed with such success that today, materials made by chemistry from oil and its derivatives, such as synthetic fibres, synthetic resins and synthetic rubber, are spread all around us, with destructive effects on the environment.

But before mankind reached such a level of technological development through the manipulation of polymers, life on earth had already been experimenting with the design of various molecules for billions of years. Protein is one such molecule and has played an important role as a component of biological materials such as our skin or nails and hair. Over the past 3.8 billion years, life has continued to evolve by improving the function of this protein.

SPIBER

SPIBER has established a basic technology to enable the process of protein evolution in the laboratory within years or months, when it would normally take millions of years in nature. The goal is to unleash the potential of proteins to support a revolution that will move society towards a true and profound recycling of resources.

A future of biobased materials is possible. That future has already begun
A future of biobased materials is possible. That future has already begun

The project envisions a more sustainable future characterised by a circular ecosystem of industrial biomaterials that can be broken down into biological nutrients, where traditional products are designed, manufactured, used, discarded, collected and regenerated to be kept in circulation as resources after their end of life.

Spiber Inc. is a Japanese biotechnology company engaged in the development of what it has called Brewed Protein™. Produced by microbial fermentation and using mainly agricultural raw materials, Brewed Protein™ fibre is poised to provide viable material alternatives for a variety of industries, including fashion.

A future of biobased materials is possible. That future has already begun

And Spiber is not the only company taking decisive steps towards a future, in many respects already present, in which the materials used by man are made through the synthesis of raw materials of organic origin.

A future of biobased materials is possible. That future has already begun
A future of biobased materials is possible. That future has already begun
A future of biobased materials is possible. That future has already begun

Here is a brief overview of some of the companies in the footwear sector that are going down the biobased road.

CORONET

CORONET product is called Yatay™ M. A mycelium based product, a by-product of a natural industrial process that uses sugar cultivation waste to produce citric acid. During its fermentation process, which relies on organic waste, CO2 sequestration occurs, resulting in emissions savings as a consequence. Yatay™ Z (Zero) biomaterials completely solvent-free, is produced with a patented manufacturing process. Furthermore, raw materials certified by GRS or FSC are selected and paired. The entire supply chain is free from Volatile Organic Compounds, ensuring the absence of solvents.

A future of biobased materials is possible. That future has already begun
A future of biobased materials is possible. That future has already begun

INGOM

INGOM presents Europe’s first 90-95% sustainable sole with ISCC Certificate. This rubber is created from organic materials and then coloured with dyes also derived from the processing of organic materials. For example, pepper waste. The blue one is a dyeing plant that is used precisely to colour fabrics. The reddish coloured sole is obtained from madder, which is a root. Finally, again organic gum but with added seaweed to give the colouring.

A future of biobased materials is possible. That future has already begun
A future of biobased materials is possible. That future has already begun
A future of biobased materials is possible. That future has already begun

ISA TAN TEC

Alongside the ISA TAN TEC division focused on leather, the new division COSM – Creation of Sustainable Material, dedicated to sustainable materials, has been created. The proposed material is already on the market in collaboration with important brands such as Giesswein, Tommy Hilfiger and Puma, and is characterised by its high breathability and the possibility of being subjected to different types of processing such as embossing. It is also a bio-based material, because it is composed of artificial cellulose fibre combined with natural rubber and mushrooms.

A future of biobased materials is possible. That future has already begun
A future of biobased materials is possible. That future has already begun

MODERN MEADOW

MODERN MEADOW is a pioneer in climate technology that creates the future of materials through innovations in biology and materials science. Among its innovations is Bio-Tex Shield™, a breathable, lightweight, PFAS-free, bio-based waterproof membrane that offers high performance in all outdoor conditions. High abrasion resistance allows for lightweight and skin-out applications. Enhanced breathability due to inherent MVTR properties of proteins. Highest amount of bio-based content in the market.

A future of biobased materials is possible. That future has already begun

MONTEIRO FABRICS

Founded in 1917, MONTEIRO FABRICS develops fabrics with exceptional design, functionality, sustainability and performance. New products include Peel, a collection of sustainable fabrics made with 65% plant based, available in a range of 8 colours from stock. Another novelty is Origin, 72% biobased, a soft and durable fabric, perfect for footwear and upholstery, made from the production waste of olives, sugar cane and corn.

A future of biobased materials is possible. That future has already begun

A wide variety of attempts that clearly traces a path towards an evolution of materials that can take from nature, to manipulate without damaging the environment and, finally, to give back to nature.

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