The manufacturing process of "PrimaLoft Bio" fibers.

Fiber firm PrimaLoft said today that Helly Hansen, Houdini, L.L. Bean, Norrøna and Vaude are the first adopters of its new fiber, PrimaLoft Bio, the first 100 percent recycled, biodegradable synthetic apparel insulation and performance fabric technology that debuted late last year.

PrimaLoft Bio will first be featured in retail collections in fall 2020, but brand partner concept styles will be on display at Outdoor Retailer Snow Show in Denver on Jan. 30 to Feb. 1. PrimaLoft president and chief executive officer Mike Joyce said, “We’ve collaborated with a community of brands that share our common sustainability values and goals. It is a privilege to introduce PrimaLoft Bio with these respected companies — 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.”

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Its technology enables the material to be “more attractive” to naturally occurring microbes found in landfill or ocean environments, causing microbes eat away at the fibers at a quicker rate to hasten the biodegradation process and leaving behind water, methane, carbon dioxide and biomass, or organic waste, the firm said. The material is “highly durable” throughout its usable garment life cycle, as PrimaLoft Bio fibers will only biodegrade in landfills or bodies of water after exposure to microbes in those areas.

PrimaLoft Bio fabric. Photo courtesy of PrimaLoft 

Joyce added, “PrimaLoft and our brand partners are committed to extending the life of garments through recycling, repurposing and reuse. 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.”

Taking the lead to market is outdoor gear and apparel brand L.L.Bean. (The company has worked with PrimaLoft to debut a number of its technologies since the Eighties, so the partnership comes as no surprise.) “L.L.Bean and PrimaLoft have worked together since 1989, when we introduced our Mountain Light Jacket, the first PrimaLoft-insulated garment, and outfitted 30 international climbers for the Everest Peace Climb,” said Tom Armstrong, chief merchandising officer at L.L.Bean. “Today, PrimaLoft is an established leader in sustainability stewardship and material innovation that is changing the tide in the outdoor industry. From its Cross Core insulation that uses NASA aerogel to PrimaLoft Bio, PrimaLoft enables us to push the envelope for consumer comfort and answer the growing demand for brand accountability, while supporting our mission of helping more people experience the outdoors.”

For more Business news from WWD, see:

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