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PrimaLoft tests circularity of PrimaLoft Bio fibres

The 100% recycled, biodegradable synthetic insulation and fabric fibre proven to be renewable for use in a circular economy.

18th March 2019

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Munich/Latham, NY

Clothing/​Footwear, Sports/​Outdoor, Sustainable

“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 Mike Joyce, PrimaLoft President and CEO. “Biodegradability is an end of life solution that works in harmony with the circularity model. With the ability to renew our fibres, 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 fibres can be chemically recycled with a 95% yield rate. After chemical recycling, PrimaLoft Bio fibres may be reused to produce new insulation or fabric fibres, while maintaining the same level of performance.

Circular economy

Circularity, or a circular economy, is an economic system aimed at minimising waste and re-capturing usable resources to be utilised within the system. This eliminates the need to introduce new natural resources, creating a closed loop. “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 fibres,” continued Mr Joyce.

“To that end, we have been using recycled polyester fibres 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 fibres

PrimaLoft Bio fibres 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 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 lifecycle in a garment.

Biodegradable fibres provide a solution for the potential shedding of fibres throughout a garment’s usable life, as well as for garments that do end up in landfill or ocean water environments, the company reports.

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