Junya Watanabe, The North Face and Spiber Drop “Brewed” Hoodie

Series collaborator Junya Watanabe has designed what may be The North Face’s most expensive hoodie ever. At $630, the Earth Hoodie isn’t for the weak wallet but there’s a way behind the madness. In fact, it can be quite inspiring.

Released by The North Face Japan and EYE Junya Watanabe MAN – Junya Watanabe is the womenswear line of designer COMME des GARÇONS, Junya Watanabe MAN is menswear, EYE Junya Watanabe MAN is a menswear collaboration – Earth Hoodie is produced using “fermented protein” Designed by Japanese textile company Spiber.

Spiber previously partnered with Goldwin, the parent company of The North Face Japan, to create a limited-edition jacket and jacket that used this same fermented protein. In fact, this earth hoodie is a direct successor to TNF x Spiber Moon Parka from 2019.

What is the big problem with this strange texture? The idea is to create something that bridges the gap between what’s organic and what’s man-made, something that’s easy on the environment that could one day scale to meet needs in industries beyond the fashion world.

As the company’s name suggests, Spiber is inspired by cobwebs, one of the most powerful naturally occurring byproducts in the world. The fermented protein is grown in a lab using fermented microbes, and is not made using animals or plastic.

The resulting material is remarkably durable, soft, and easy to manipulate, organically translating from a technical jacket to a cardigan.

Watanabe and The North Face’s Earth Hoodie sells for JPY 93,500 (about $630), giving you an elaborate layering piece with just a few zip pockets. I wonder if these are also environmentally friendly?

The hoodie doesn’t quite push the stylistic envelope but is there to demonstrate the versatility of Spiber’s fermented protein and introduce textiles to a broader market.

The drink’s low carbon footprint and expanded applications will already help it offset wasteful production processes in the fashion industry, although plenty of other factors contribute to the problem beyond textiles alone.

However, any step toward mitigating the problem is a step in the right direction, so I say, bring it on, Spaber. Fermented protein for everyone.

This isn’t TNF’s biggest collaboration this month, let alone this week. Most recently, TNF launched partnerships with Paraboot, Supreme, and artist KAWS, which were premiered exclusively by Highsnobiety.

Meanwhile, Watanabe has more quietly released his seasonal partnerships, although there are several other seasonal partnerships in store for the upcoming season.

Gone are the days of bulletproof jackets. This is the reign of Jamiroquai Watanabe.

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