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Polartec commits to 100% recycled materials

Polartec Eco-Engineering to set new standard for sustainable textiles including the creation of the fully recycled and biodegradable fleece.

31st January 2019

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Andover, MA

Sports/​Outdoor, Sustainable

Last year, Polartec supported Houdini North American launch. Houdini shares Polartec’s commitment to taking meaningful actions that improve the sustainability of the products. © Polartec

Polartec, a premium producer of innovative and sustainable textile solutions, introduces its Eco-Engineering initiative to use recycled and biodegradable materials across its entire product line.

The effort joins other industry leaders and pioneers in sustainable textiles: Unifi and Intrinsic Advanced Materials. The collaboration combines a CiCLO technology with Unifi’s innovative yarn products to promote biodegradation of polyester and nylon, as well as applications in polyurethane, in sea water and landfill conditions. The goal is to create the world’s first fully recycled and biodegradable fleeces and breathable waterproof membranes, as well as other knits and insulation fills.

“By collaborating with the best in the business, Polartec is committing to the pursuit of a future where everything is eco-engineered to use recycled inputs and to be biodegradable,” said Gary Smith, Polartec CEO. “This is the culmination of over 25 years of Polartec investment and innovation.”

Polartec created the very first performance fabrics made from post-consumer recycled plastics in 1993 and began collaborating with Unifi in 2006. “We are proud to be a part of progressive collaborations that seek to find solutions, through textile innovation, for some of the world’s most significant challenges,” commented Kevin Hall, Unifi CEO. “By working with leaders from our industry, we strive to create innovative products that are synergistic with key technologies like recycling. We look forward to this journey towards developing biodegradable materials and for more industry partners to join the sustainable pathway.”

This month, Unifi Champions of Sustainability awards recognised brands, retailers and textile partners that demonstrate the shared goal of making our planet a better place to live. This year, a total of 68 companies are being recognised as Champions of Sustainability. Thanks to help from partners, Unifi has now recycled more than 14 billion bottles that are used to make its Repreve performance fibre.

“After years of R&D to create a solution for biodegradability, we’re thrilled to partner with the inventor of technical fleece and leader in performance knits to bring CiCLO to market as part of Polartec Eco-Engineering,” said Andrea Ferris, Intrinsic Advanced Materials CEO.

The collaboration is an extension of Polartec Eco-Engineering, a process that deploys recycled inputs, advanced production techniques, logistical efficiency, and rigorous testing and certifications to create an unrivalled innovation pipeline devoted to producing sustainable fabrics with elite performance characteristics. This includes Oeko-Tex and bluesign certifications across all Polartec facilities worldwide. The Polartec Eco-Engineering effort seeks to set a new, higher triple bottom line standard for the textile industry: fully recycled inputs, fully recyclable fabrics, and complete biodegradability.

Further reading

Unifi recognises companies committed to sustainable sourcing

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