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product sustainability technology

This limited edition hat is made from a bioengineered silk and natural wool blend

The Best Made Microsilk Cap of Courage
The Best Made Microsilk Cap of Courage

Bioengineering start-up, Bolt Threads, has released its second commercially available product using Microsilk, its protein-based manmade spider silk.

Launched with outdoor lifestyle brand Best Made Co, which Bolt Threads acquired in July, the limited edition “Microsilk Cap of Courage” as its being called, is a hat made from the company’s bioengineered silk combined with luxurious American Rambouillet wool fibers from Mountain Meadow Mill in Wyoming.

The resulting integration of 21st century fibers with traditional materials and spinning techniques, took nine months of work, according to the team. They worked through a multitude of prototypes before getting to the final product, which they believe represents an increasingly collaborative future between apparel, technology, sustainability and design teams.

Head over to Forbes to read the full story.

Categories
Editor's pick product Startups technology

Bolt Threads is launching its first bioengineered spider silk product at SXSW – a tie

Bolt Threads' new lab-grown spider silk tie launching at SXSW this weekend
Bolt Threads’ new lab-grown spider silk tie launching at SXSW this weekend

Biotechnology is about to get a major breakthrough in the textiles department – a market-ready manmade spider silk product is launching at SXSW this weekend.

Bolt Threads, a San Francisco-based start-up working on the next generation of advanced materials, is unveiling a limited edition knitted tie, made of its 100% Boltspun spider silk.

“We wanted to demonstrate the reality of a completely new way of manufacturing textiles, one that has nearly unlimited potential for innovation and also produces a sustainable product,” says Dan Widmaier, CEO at Bolt Threads.

On the basis of the textile industry being one of the dirtiest in the world, the sustainability angle is a critical one. “What we’re showing is how we can make performance fabrics that we can scale up, without using a barrel of oil or agriculture sources,” he tells me.

Indeed, the material is the result of seven years of research and design in a lab. Head over to Forbes to read all about the engineering work behind this protein-based fibre, not to mention exactly how you can get your hands on one of the limited edition products.

Categories
data digital snippets e-commerce social media Startups technology

Digital snippets: L’Oréal’s incubator, Bolt Threads teams with Patagonia, confessions of a social media exec

loreal-digital-600

There are lots of updates this past week on interesting textile developments – from the spider silk of Bolt Threads to Spiber, both of which have announced new deals with Patagonia and The North Face respectively. Also worth a read is the anonymous social media exec spilling secrets to Digiday, not to mention the idea that we will all indeed be buying our designer clothing in the future on Amazon. If that’s not enough, further fashion and tech news from the past fortnight spans Birchbox’s use of Facebook Live to a breakdown of how brands are using Snapchat. Read on for all…


  • L’Oréal invests in Founders Factory digital start-up incubator [BrandChannel]

  • Bolt Threads raises $50 million to brew spider silk, inks deal with Patagonia [TechCrunch]

  • Confessions of a social media exec on influencer marketing: ‘We threw too much money at them’ [Digiday]

  • People will eventually buy their designer clothing on Amazon, because they buy everything there [Quartz]

  • Everlane’s Shoe Park interactive pop-up offers self-guided shopping [Footwear News]

  • How Birchbox uses Facebook Live videos to engage consumers [Retail Dive]

  • How Frank + Oak built a modern loyalty program for men [Glossy]

  • Google DeepMind killed off a little-known fashion website [Business Insider]

  • SpaceX has hired a legendary costume designer to create their own spacesuits [Gizmodo]

  • The North Face to sell parka made out of synthetic spider silk by Japanese start-up Spiber [Bloomberg]

  • Thesis Couture is bringing the engineering savvy of rocket science to the design of the high-heeled shoe [The Atlantic]

  • The rise of robot tailors [Glossy]

  • L’Oréal created this training program to keep its marketers on the cutting edge [AdWeek]

  • How fashion and retail brands are using Snapchat [Fashionista]

  • Will the ‘sharing economy’ work for fashion? [BoF]

  • Bots, Messenger and the future of customer service [TechCrunch]

  • Condé Nast is launching a beauty network [Racked]

  • How a data scientist (who studied astrophysics) ended up in fashion [Fashionista]

  • Infographic: here’s how Gen Z girls prefer to shop and socialise online [AdWeek]

  • What is going on with fashion and zines? [Racked]

  • How online shopping is cannabilising mall stores [Associated Press]

  • REI’s ‘#OptOutside’ Black Friday campaign wins award [AdAge]
Categories
Blocks e-commerce

Hermès celebrates silk with illustrated virtual store

Hermes_maisondescarres3

Hermès has launched a pop-up e-store dedicated to its silk squares, shawls, twills, scarves and stoles.

Illustrated in quirky Hermès style by Pierre Marie, Lamaisondescarrés.com is set to look like a grand house with an intricate interior and a diverse series of characters and creatures all featured. There’s a gardener floating on a hot air balloon, sunflowers twisting in the breeze, a play slide atop a large giftbox, a gentleman lying in a hammock and more.

The team behind it refers to it as “playful, welcoming, immersive and surprising”. Created in partnership with agency AKQA, it allows users to explore different rooms featuring 600 models of Hermès signature silks, all of which can be bought in three easy clicks. There’s a treasure chamber, a saloon and a colour-mixing kitchen.

Hermes_masiondescarres2

“Both an online store offering an exceptionally broad range of our collections, and a place of delightful, constantly evolving experiences, lamaisondescarrés.com tells the story of Hermès silk in an entertaining and unconventional way,” explains Bali Barret, artistic director of the women’s universe at Hermès.

Visitors can search by size, colour, material or theme (like horse & equestrian, history & mythology, animal world & wildlife). There’s also a link through to the brand’s Silk Knots app – a how-to guide on 24 different ways to tie your scarf through images and videos – and its Tie Break app aimed at men, which includes a variety of GIFs, games and comics as well as collection insights. A short film dedicated to its silk bandanas is featured too.

The site is fully responsive and available in 27 countries across Europe, Asia and America. Watch it come to life below: