PrimaLoft is launching two new biodegradable technologies: PrimaLoft® Bio™ Insulation and PrimaLoft® Bio™ Performance Fabric, the first first synthetic insulation and synthetic fabric made from 100 percent recycled, biodegradable* fibres. Both are the first technology of its kind.
The basis of both innovations is an improved fibre technology, which allows a highly accelerated bio-degradation under certain environmental conditions. Both PrimaLoft® Bio ™ Performance Fabric and PrimaLoft® Bio ™ Insulation are expected to be commercially available from autumn 2020.
Made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled material, PrimaLoft® Bio™ fibres break down when exposed to specific environments – such as a landfill or the ocean. PrimaLoft has enhanced 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 fabric or insulation to natural elements.
As a result, this breakthrough helps to solve the growing problem of microplastics littering the ocean, a significant issue for the textile and other industries. It is estimated that half a million tons of plastic microfibres shed during the washing of plastic-based textiles such as polyester, nylon, or acrylic end up in the ocean every year, according to research from The Ellen Macarthur Foundation. PrimaLoft® Bio™ fibres will only biodegrade when exposed to the naturally-occurring microbes in landfills or bodies of water, thus, the fabric remains highly durable throughout its usable life-cycle in a garment.
Specific test results show 84.1% biodegradation in 423 days under ASTM D5511* conditions (accelerated landfill simulation) and 55.1% in biodegradation in 409 days under ASTM D6691** conditions (accelerated marine simulation).
“With PrimaLoft® Bio, PrimaLoft is leading the charge by redefining what sustainability really means,” said Mike Joyce, President and CEO of PrimaLoft. “Recycling is a good start but, we are intent on providing an even 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, one of the most significant global technology launches in the company’s history, provides a solution at the material level, which was key for our vision.”
The idea was born in 2014 from the PrimaLoft product management. After two years of research, it took two years to develop the process and more than a year of testing with an independent lab. “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 percent of discarded textile and garment wastes were landfilled in 2014 in the US, accounting for nearly eight percent 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 expands upon PrimaLoft’s commitment to being relentlessly responsible, providing sustainable solutions throughout its business in order to lessen its impact on the earth. To date, PrimaLoft has saved more than 90 million plastic bottles from landfills and transformed them into premium insulation technologies. By 2020, 90 percent of PrimaLoft insulation products will have at least 50 percent post-consumer recycled (PCR) content, without compromising performance. PrimaLoft expects to continue to push the industry forward with a similar commitment to biodegradable technology across its product portfolio.
For further information, visit: http://primaloft.com/primaloftbio
*Standard Test Method for Determining Anaerobic Biodegradation of Plastic Materials Under High-Solids Anaerobic-Digestion Conditions
**Standard Test Method for Determining Aerobic Biodegradation of Plastic Materials in the Marine Environment by a Defined Microbial Consortium or Natural Sea Water Inoculum