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Japan startup spins profitable future for synthetic spider silk

Spiber Inc develops super-strong fibre used in North Face's US$1,000 "Moon Parka"

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Spiber's Mr Sekiyama holding a tube containing synthetic spider silk. The company uses genetically altered micro- organisms to mass produce a silk-protein material called "Qmonos", meaning spider's web in Japanese.

Tokyo

LATER this year, outdoor-gear retailer North Face will offer its environmentally conscious shoppers at its outlet in Tokyo's posh Harajuku fashion district a chance to save the planet.

North Face's outlets in Japan will sell a US$1,000, special edition "Moon Parka", a gold-