Skip to main content

PrimaLoft Debuts First 100 Percent Recycled, Biodegradable Fabric

PrimaLoft is expanding its suite of ocean-friendly synthetic materials.

Just weeks after feting Bio Insulation, the world’s first synthetic insulation made from 100 percent recycled, biodegradable fibers, PrimaLoft is introducing Bio Performance Fabric, a version of the technology in textile form.

“Recycling alone is not enough,” Mike Joyce, president and CEO of PrimaLoft, told Sourcing Journal. “As part of our mission to be ‘relentlessly responsible,’ we are committed to exploring technologies that address the global textile waste crisis.”

Like the insulation that preceded it, Bio Performance Fabric comprises 100 percent post-consumer recycled fibers that will withstand the rigors of repeated, multi-year use and break down only when exposed to specific conditions, such as those of a landfill or the ocean.

PrimaLoft designed the fibers to be more appetizing to naturally occurring microbes found in those environments. Coaxed to eat away at the fibers at an accelerated rate, the microbes return the fabric or insulation to the natural elements, leaving behind only water, methane, carbon dioxide and organic waste.

As a result, PrimaLoft says, its breakthrough helps combat the growing burden of microplastic pollution in the ocean, which it notes is a “significant problem for the textile industry.”

Roughly half a million tons of minuscule plastic fibers, shed during the washing of synthetic textiles such as polyester, nylon or acrylic, end up in the ocean every every year, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Tests of the fibers show 84.1 percent biodegradation in 423 days under simulated landfill conditions and 55.1 percent biodegradation in 409 days under simulated marine conditions. 

Both iterations of PrimaLoft’s Bio range will be available to consumers in the fall of 2020, though PrimaLoft eventually plans to incorporate its Bio technology across all product lines in the coming years. To date, PrimaLoft has diverted more than 90 million plastic bottles from landfills by turning them into insulation. By 2020, 90 percent of its products will have at least 50 percent post-consumer recycled content. 

“Our insulation and fabric made from 100 percent recycled, biodegradable fibers combats plastic waste at the material level,” Joyce said. “They deliver on the promise of a cleaner world without sacrificing design or performance. We are truly redefining sustainability.”