PrimaLoft, Inc., a global leader in advanced material technology solutions, has introduced PrimaLoft® Bio. It is the first synthetic insulation made from 100% recycled, biodegradable fibres that use proprietary technology to enable a highly accelerated rate of biodegradation.
The idea was born in 2014 when a PrimaLoft product manager said during weekly research and development meeting, “Why can’t we just make jacket insulation that we can bury in the backyard?” This idea struck a chord and, following that meeting, PrimaLoft put an action plan into place to develop and test the technology. Four years later, the Latham, New York-based company’s scientists and engineers had a textile breakthrough. Specifically, PrimaLoft conducted two years of research, took two years to develop the process and worked with an independent lab to conduct more than a year of testing. The breakthrough was that they had successfully found a way to ensure that the proprietary technology does not change the performance, look or feel of the garment.
How Does PrimaLoft Bio Work?
Well simply put, PrimaLoft Bio fibres break down when exposed to the right environment – such as a landfill or the ocean. PrimaLoft has achieved this by enhancing the fibres to be more attractive to the naturally-occurring microbes found in these environments. The microbes eat away at the fibres at a faster rate, returning the insulation to nature. The biodegradation process leaves behind water, methane, carbon dioxide and biomass (expired microorganisms, organic waste). PrimaLoft® Bio insulation will only biodegrade when exposed to the microbes in landfills or bodies of water; thus, the insulation remains highly durable throughout its usable life cycle in a garment.
“PrimaLoft® Bio has the potential to transform the outdoor and fashion/lifestyle industries’ supply chain,” said Dr Charles Lancelot, a materials technologist who worked alongside PrimaLoft during the testing process. “Over 80% of discarded textile and garment wastes were landfilled in 2014, accounting for nearly 8% of the total waste. This advanced biodegradation technology from PrimaLoft leverages progressive end-of-life material science and demands the attention of every apparel brand interested in making a smaller environmental footprint. PrimaLoft® Bio is a leader in its potential conversion to energy-producing biogas during the active production lifetimes of most US landfills, and it is setting a new industry standard for synthetic insulation.”
Taking The Sustainable Approach
PrimaLoft, Inc., is committed to being Relentlessly Responsible. To date, PrimaLoft has saved more than 84.7 million plastic bottles from landfills and transformed them into premium insulation technologies. By 2020, 90% of PrimaLoft insulation products will have at least 50% post-consumer recycled (PCR) content, without compromising performance. Moving forward, PrimaLoft is working diligently to reduce its footprint through the supply chain with an emphasis on finding solutions for reducing energy, carbon emission reduction, utilising biodegradable products and incorporating natural plant-based fibres in its products.
“PrimaLoft Bio goes hand in hand with sustainability, by providing a solution for the end of a garment’s lifecycle.”
“We want our consumers to be able to reuse and recycle their garments for many years,” continued Joyce. “Yet, we know that products have a life cycle and are eventually disposed of. PrimaLoft Bio goes hand in hand with sustainability, by providing a solution for the end of a garment’s lifecycle. We are the first to address this challenge in the synthetic insulation category.”
Expected to be available to consumers in fall 2020, Mike Joyce, president and CEO of PrimaLoft said: “With PrimaLoft® Bio, PrimaLoft is leading the charge by redefining what sustainability means.” He continues, “Recycling is a good start but, we are intent on providing a better answer to the environmental issues facing our industry. As we have been making sustainable products since 2007, PrimaLoft® Bio speaks to the heart and soul of who we are. We looked at the global issues, including the proliferation of textile waste and microplastics, and determined how PrimaLoft could make a positive impact within our core competencies – material science and polymers. This technology, the most significant global technology launch in the company’s history, provides a solution at the material level, which was key for our vision.”