The first 100% recycled, biodegradable* synthetic insulation and fabric fiber proven to be renewable for use in a circular economy
LATHAM, N.Y. (March 18, 2019) — PrimaLoft, Inc., experts in advanced material technology, today announced its PrimaLoft™ Bio® fibers are renewable in a circular economy. As a result of third-party testing, the polyester fibers have proven capable of being chemically recycled. This process breaks down polyester to its basic components so that it can be rejuvenated into a new high-performance material, without compromising its original integrity. PrimaLoft is the first brand to introduce a 100% recycled, biodegradable* synthetic insulation and fabric that support circularity.
“The intention of PrimaLoft® Bio™ was always to address the eventual end of life of a garment in an impactful way, while finding a solution for the industry-wide microplastics issue,” said PrimaLoft president and CEO Mike Joyce. “Biodegradability is an end of life solution that works in harmony with the circularity model. With the ability to renew our fibers, we are changing the conversation to circularity. Circular economies are the next frontier in sustainability and we have proven our capabilities in this space.”
Third-party testing has shown that PrimaLoft® Bio™ fibers can be chemically recycled with a 95% yield rate. After chemical recycling, PrimaLoft® Bio™ fibers may be reused to produce new insulation or fabric fibers, while maintaining the same level of performance.
Circularity, or a circular economy, is an economic system aimed at minimizing waste and re-capturing usable resources to be utilized within the system. This eliminates the need to introduce new natural resources, creating a closed loop. A circular economy is a more sustainable alternative to a traditional linear economy, which relies on the “take, make, dispose” model of utilizing resources.
Joyce continued, “More than 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic have been produced worldwide, since 1950, and less than 10% of those plastics have actually been recycled1. Those numbers are alarming and PrimaLoft is working on solutions to reduce the use of oil-based virgin polyester fibers. To that end, we have been using recycled polyester fibers sourced from plastic bottles in our products since 2007. Through this traditional mechanical recycling process, new high-performance material can be created. However, this method cannot be used repeatedly without eventually sacrificing the performance characteristics of the polyester and continuing to use additional natural resources. That’s why PrimaLoft searched for new ways to close the system.”
PrimaLoft® Bio™ fibers are made from 100% post-consumer recycled material and break down when exposed to specific environments – such as a landfill or the ocean. PrimaLoft has enhanced the fibers to be more attractive to the naturally-occurring microbes found in these environments so that they eat away at the fibers at a faster rate, returning the fabric or insulation to natural elements. Fibers 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.
Biodegradable fibers provide a solution for the potential shedding of fibers throughout a garment’s usable life, as well as for garments that do end up in landfill or ocean water environments.
* 86.1% biodegradation in 499 days under ASTM D5511 conditions – Standard Test Method for Determining Anaerobic Biodegradation of Plastic Materials Under High-Solids Anaerobic-Digestion Conditions
* 57.4% biodegradation in 486 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
About PrimaLoft, Inc.: PrimaLoft, Inc., an advanced material technology company based in Latham, New York with offices in Munich, Germany and Xiamen, China, is the world leader in research and innovative development of comfort solutions with high performance insulations and fabrics. The PrimaLoft® brand, a registered trademark of PrimaLoft, Inc., delivers feel-good products that are used in the top global outdoor and fashion brands, home furnishings, work wear, hunting and military applications. PrimaLoft® insulation was originally developed for the U.S. army as a water-resistant, synthetic alternative to down. Today, the brand is recognized as a benchmark in the outdoor industry for providing unsurpassed comfort in any condition, ultimately empowering users to stay in the moment. PrimaLoft, Inc. is active in sustainable textile production through partnerships with the bluesign® system, the International OEKO-TEX® Association, the Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s Higg Index and the Global Recycled Standard. For more information, please visit www.PrimaLoft.com, and follow PrimaLoft on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. PrimaLoft®, Feel the Performance™.