PrimaLoft Inc., a global leader in advanced material technology expanded its biodegradable* technologies with the introduction of PrimaLoft® Bio™ Performance Fabric, the first 100% recycled, biodegradable synthetic fabric. PrimaLoft® Bio™ Performance Fabric joins the recently launched PrimaLoft® Bio™ Insulation, also the first technology of its kind. The basis of both innovations is an improved fiber technology, which allows a highly accelerated biodegradation under certain environmental conditions. Both PrimaLoft® Bio ™ Performance Fabric and PrimaLoft® Bio ™ Insulation are expected to be commercially available in the fall of 2020.
“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 fibres would stand up to the rigorous process of manufacturing fabrics, while maintaining its ability to degrade. This is really a new horizon, and we try to set the standards towards significantly lessening the environmental impact of the textile industry.”
Made from 100% post-consumer recycled material, PrimaLoft® Bio™ fibres 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. The microbes eat away at the fibres at a faster rate, returning the fabric or insulation to natural elements.
As a result, this breakthrough helps to solve the growing problem of microplastics littering the ocean, a significant issue for the textile and other industry. It is estimated that half a million tons of plastic micro-fibres 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™ fibres 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. “We try to contribute with new fibre technologies to be less harmful for the environment. 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. Earlier this year, PrimaLoft introduced its first insulations with 100% post-consumer recycled material. By 2020, 90% of PrimaLoft® insulation products will have at least 50% 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.
More information: PrimaLoft, Inc