Vegan Spider Silk

December 14, 2021

Vegan Spider Silk

How clever are those spiders!

Not another green-wash, this could be the real deal. A new material dubbed vegan spider silk, has been created by scientists at the University of Cambridge. It may finally be the replacement we’ve been waiting for to deal with single use plastic.

Dr Thomas Knowles’ expertise in protein folding is used in studying the impact of misshapen proteins on human health. But it also reveals what it is about spider silk that gives it such strength. The team of academics were able to apply this knowledge to a soy protein.

Soy is a widely available crop but its proteins are very different to those of spider silk. Dr Knowles and his team managed to strip the soy protein down and reform it to match the shape of spider silk. Because all proteins are made of polypeptide chains, (I know this because of our own cashmere protein) they can, under the right conditions reassemble the plant proteins to match spider silk.

“In a way we’ve come up with a vegan spider silk, creating the same material without the spider”. Said study co-author Dr Garcia. This plastic substitute can be left on a domestic compost heap without any special treatment to recycle it.

 Michael Van Clarke

 

Read - Fed up with being Greenwashed?





Also in Blogs

Fighting Inflation
Fighting Inflation

January 19, 2023

Declining productivity has been the Western World’s conundrum these last few decades. Whether you blame social media, low interest rates, WFH or ‘The Age of Entitlement’, there’s no denying the zeitgeist, and as a business, we haven’t been immune. 

Continue Reading

5 New Year Tips
5 New Year Tips

January 05, 2023

If your hair is six inches long, the ends have been around for 365 days. Twelve inches long and that’s 730 days, etc. How you habitually treat your hair in those days all adds up. Using a less damaging technique...

Continue Reading

Winter Haircare
Winter Haircare

December 10, 2022

Cold dry air outside, warm dry air inside; this seasonal pincer movement rips the moisture from the hairshaft leaving it thin, brittle and up to 3% shorter.

Continue Reading