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Synthetic spider silk from Japan unicorn weaves coats to car seats

Spiber to kick off commercial production of plant-derived protein in Thailand

Goldwin, the licensee of The North Face sportswear brand in Japan, has made T-shirts and parkas with Spiber's Brewed Protein. (Photo by Marimi Kishimoto)

BANGKOK/TOKYO -- A Japanese startup that has developed a strong, lightweight and biodegradable material inspired by spider silk is set to begin full-fledged production in Thailand, a major milestone for a product 14 years in the making.

The Yamagata Prefecture-based Spiber, a 2007 offshoot from Japan's Keio University, is one of Japan's few unicorns.

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