LATHAM, N.Y. — November 13, 2018 — PrimaLoft Inc. today expanded its suite of biodegradable* technologies with the introduction of PrimaLoft® Bio™ Performance Fabric, a 100-percent recycled, biodegradable synthetic fabric. PrimaLoft Bio Performance Fabric joins the recently launched PrimaLoft Bio Insulation, also the first technology of its kind. PrimaLoft is targeting fall 2020 for consumer availability of both iterations of its biodegradable products.
The same 100-percent recycled, biodegradable technology used in the development of PrimaLoft Bio Insulation was used in the development of PrimaLoft Bio Performance Fabric.
“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,” said Mike Joyce, president and CEO of PrimaLoft. “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 towards significantly lessening the environmental impact of the textile industry.”
Made from 100-percent post-consumer recycled material, PrimaLoft Bio fibers 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. The microbes eat away at the fibers at a faster rate, returning the fabric or insulation to natural elements.
As a result, this breakthrough combats the growing problem of microplastics 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 research from The Ellen MacArthur Foundation. PrimaLoft Bio fibers will only biodegrade when exposed to the naturally-occurring microbes in landfills or bodies of water, thus, the fabric remains highly durable throughout its usable life cycle in a garment.
Specific test results show 84.1% biodegradation in 423 days under ASTM D5511* conditions (accelerated landfill simulation) and 55.1% in biodegradation in 409 days under ASTM D6691** conditions (accelerated marine simulation).
“We never saw recycling as the final answer. We have not only been able to break the biodegradability code but, we’re really setting sustainability forward,” Joyce continued. “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.”
To date, PrimaLoft has saved more than 90 million plastic bottles from landfills and transformed them into premium insulation technologies. By 2020, 90 percent of PrimaLoft insulation products will have at least 50-percent post-consumer recycled content, without compromising performance. PrimaLoft expects to continue to push the industry forward with a similar commitment to biodegradable technology across its product portfolio.
*Standard Test Method for Determining Anaerobic Biodegradation of Plastic Materials Under High-Solids Anaerobic-Digestion 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
Posted November 13, 2018