Fiber firm PrimaLoft revealed the expansion of its Biodegradable Technologies suite today with the unveiling of PrimaLoft Bio Performance Fabric, the first 100 percent recycled, biodegradable synthetic fabric in the market. The company said it is targeting fall 2020 for consumer availability in tandem with its recently launched PrimaLoft Bio Insulation. PrimaLoft Bio technology won Innovation Product of the Year at the recent Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Denver.
PrimaLoft Bio is enhanced 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, “returning the [material] to nature” and leaving behind water, methane, carbon dioxide and biomass, or organic waste, the firm said. And because PrimaLoft Bio fibers will only biodegrade in landfills or bodies of water after exposure to microbes in those areas, the material is “highly durable” throughout its usable garment life cycle. PrimaLoft has diverted more than 90 million plastic bottles from landfills to be transformed into premium insulation technologies, the company said. The firm aims for 90 percent of its insulation products to have a minimum of 50 percent post-consumer recycled content whilst maintaining the same level of performance by 2020.
The company said its technology “combats the growing problem of micro-plastics littering the ocean, a significant issue for the textile industry. It is estimated that half a million tons of plastic microfibers shed during the washing of plastic-based textiles such as polyester, nylon or acrylic end up in the ocean every year,” according to its research from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Fashion brands have had a renewed focus on microfibers, micro-plastics and ocean pollution of late, as companies are creatively responding to consumer demand for sustainable apparel and products by way of recycled marine waste.
Mike Joyce, president and ceo of PrimaLoft, said, “From the beginning of this process, we have always considered fabrics to be a particularly important part of the development of biodegradable materials. With this advancement, a fabric garment may now be completely returned to nature. Because we will not compromise performance, we needed to ensure that our biodegradable fibers would stand up to the rigorous process of manufacturing fabrics, while maintaining its ability to degrade. This is really a new frontier, and we are out in front, setting the standard. As we drive this approach, we will be leading the way toward significantly lessening the environmental impact of the textile industry.”
Joyce added that the company “never saw recycling as the final answer,” and PrimaLoft “[has] not only been able to break the biodegradability code but, we’re really setting sustainability forward. It’s going to be very challenging to police the world but, what we can do is effect the properties of the fiber, so that it does no harm. This is part of our commitment to be Relentlessly Responsible.”
For More Business News From WWD, see: