PrimaLoft, Inc., a global leader in advanced material technology, today announced its partnership with five iconic outdoor brands to introduce PrimaLoft® Bio™, the first 100 percent recycled, biodegradable* synthetic apparel insulation and performance fabric. In tandem with Helly Hansen, Houdini, L.L.Bean, Norrøna and Vaude, apparel featuring PrimaLoft® Bio™ will first debut at retail in AW 2020, with some brands debuting styles in the following seasons.
“We’ve collaborated with a community of brands that share our common sustainability values and goals,” said PrimaLoft President and CEO, Mike Joyce. “It is a privilege to introduce PrimaLoft® Bio™ with these respected partners – all of whom provided invaluable insight and feedback on this technology. Together, we are establishing a new industry standard for environmentally conscious product design, sustainability best practices and transparency, to meet consumer demand.”
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 so that they eat away at the fibres at a faster rate, returning the fabric or insulation to natural elements. Fibres will only biodegrade when exposed to these naturally-occurring microbes in landfills or bodies of water, thus, the insulation or fabric remains highly durable throughout its usable life cycle in a garment.
“PrimaLoft and our brand partners are committed to extending the life of garments through recycling, repurposing and reuse,” said Joyce. “This is not a promotion of discarding garments prematurely or without serious regard. Rather, this is about providing a relentlessly responsible solution for the inevitable end-life of a garment when the time eventually comes.”
Swedish outdoor brand Houdini Sportswear, one of Europe’s pioneers in sustainability, is a long-term partner of PrimaLoft. In 2018, the company published This is Houdini, an ECO-report that has gained international recognition for portraying their progressive stance on sustainable practices and for its science-based efforts to assess Houdini’s planetary impact.
Eva Karlsson, CEO of Houdini, says about the potential of PrimaLoft® Bio™ for the industry: “Recycled polyester is a great example of how innovation and technology enables us to achieve great things. Micro fibre contamination is an example of the opposite. In the PrimaLoft® Bio™ project we are seeking ways for nature and technology to form stronger partnerships rather than function at the expense of the other. Regeneration for the planet is what we are aiming for at Houdini and in partnership with PrimaLoft it seems we are getting pretty damn close.”
Helly Hansen, a leader in performance ski and sailing apparel and premium workwear, will launch products with PrimaLoft® Bio™ in North America and Europe.
Philip Tavell, Category Managing Director, Ski/Mountain at Helly Hansen comments: “Helly Hansen designs performance products keeping consumers protected and comfortable, especially in harsh and unpredictable conditions. We’ve partnered with PrimaLoft for many years to introduce high-performing apparel for skiing, sailing and outdoor adventure, including the recent introduction of our lighter, warmer LifaLoft™ powered by PrimaLoft® Insulation. PrimaLoft® Bio™ enables us to continue pushing our sustainability efforts forward, without sacrificing the performance we’ve come to expect from their best in class technologies. It’s a win-win for consumers and the outdoors.”
Norwegian outdoor company Norrøna continuously pushes the boundaries of functional product design to offer premium quality gear for any adventure, counts sustainability as an essential foundation throughout their entire value chain.
Jørgen Jørgensen, CEO of Norrøna, says: “At Norrøna, sustainability and protecting the environment are top priorities, and we consider these efforts to be the most important work that we do. We are happy to see that PrimaLoft also recognises the importance of addressing and prioritising these issues. As a partner for many years, we at Norrøna are excited to be a part of this launch.”
When talking about sustainability, the long-standing German brand Vaude is definitely one of the most recognised players in the industry. For many years, Vaude has challenged PrimaLoft in creating sustainable products and has committed to completely changing their PrimaLoft® Silver Insulation and PrimaLoft® Black Insulation products into 100 percent recycled versions by Spring 2019.
Uwe Gottschalk, Chief Product Officer of Vaude comments: “Within our Philosophy of sustainability we have looked at different scientific approaches for recycling and bio-based/bio-degradable materials. The PrimaLoft® Bio™ technology is a unique opportunity that we are working with to create biodegradable products. We are excited about joining PrimaLoft in this endeavour and are making our first prototype garment samples for further testing.”
To date, PrimaLoft has saved 95 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 content, without compromising performance; this includes the introduction of three 100 percent PCR insulation products, this past year. PrimaLoft expects to continue to push the industry forward with a similar commitment to biodegradable technology across its product portfolio.
*84.9% biodegradation in 457 days under ASTM D5511 conditions – Standard Test Method for Determining Anaerobic Biodegradation of Plastic Materials Under High-Solids Anaerobic-Digestion Conditions
*56.1% biodegradation in 441 days under ASTM D6691 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