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Outerwear Insulation Makers Crank Up the Heat

Key players in the outdoor insulation market have stepped up their product array.

3M announced it will launch 3M Thinsulate Flowable Featherless Insulation this month, while HD Wool Apparel Insulation has partnered with Orvis, the family-owned and operated outdoor retailer specializing in fly-fishing gear, dog products and active lifestyle apparel, in the development of its new Anchorage Pieced Field Jacket now available in Orvis retail stores and online.

The latest textile innovation from the Minnesota-based 3M is a lightweight, high-loft insulation made with 80 percent recycled content that’s designed to be flowable for easy processing. This is the newest addition to the growing line of 3M Thinsulate Insulation products made with sustainable features.

“At 3M, we’re focused on sustainability from the very beginning of the value chain, so our materials and manufacturing practices must be responsible to start,” said Robert Polik, senior application engineer at 3M.

Crafted with a soft hand, 3M Thinsulate Flowable Featherless Insulation is a lightweight, high-loft insulation ideal for puffy garments. It also features a high wash durability, meaning it can maintain its thermal performance even after laundering.

“Aside from its sustainability features, 3M Thinsulate Flowable Featherless Insulation is also easy to apply to apparel,” Polik added. “We’re quite proud of its flowability, as it can be applied using a variety of filling machines. And since all apparel is designed differently, the insulation can easily be shaped to fill a garment’s unique quilting channels.”

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As a recycled-content-based product, 3M Thinsulate Flowable Featherless Insulation reflects 3M’s wider sustainability initiatives. The company’s headquarters is already powered by 100 percent renewable electricity, with an aim of achieving 50 percent renewable electricity in all global locations by 2025.

Last year, 3M announced it is pledging $1 billion over 20 years to accelerate environmental goals, including achieving carbon neutrality across operations by 2050, with a 50 percent reduction by 2030, versus a baseline year of 2019; reducing water usage 25 percent across all facilities by 2030 and reducing dependence on virgin fossil-based plastics by 125 million pounds by 2025.

The Anchorage Pieced Field Jacket

Orvis used fabric from three venerable British companies to create its field jacket that protects from the cold and damp. The outer shell is a weather-resistant classic waxed cotton from Scotland’s Halley Stevensons, which specializes in rugged, densely woven fabrics. The bottom paneling is a warm plaid from West Yorkshire’s Abraham Moon & Sons, one of the last remaining vertical woolen mills in Great Britain, and the wool-insulated, quilted interior, made with British-based HD Wool Apparel Insulation, adds an extra layer of warmth.

“We are excited to partner with the team at HD Wool to be one of the first brands to adopt its HD Wool Apparel Insulation in the U.S.,” said Ben Johnson, Orvis’ director of merchandising, men’s. “Consumer reaction to our new Anchorage Pieced Field Jacket has been extremely positive and we look forward to further collaborating with HD Wool in the development of our product line.”

Developed for outdoor and lifestyle apparel, HD Wool Apparel Insulation is 100 percent natural, renewable and durable. Furthering its strong temperature regulating and moisture management properties, HD Wool Apparel Insulation is actively supporting farmers to start the ReGenerative Agricultural process by having its land subjected to an annual Ecological Outcome Verification set forth by the Savory Institute to show progress in Land to Market objectives.

The hand-selected British wool that is used to make HD Wool Apparel Insulation is fully traceable back to a farm group where it is grown and sourced via The Woolkeepers, the company’s bespoke quality assurance platform.

“We are delighted to collaborate with our friends at Orvis, a leader in outdoor pursuits,” said Gary Lucier, HD Wool Apparel Insulation sales director for North America. “Both companies share an authentic heritage and a vision for doing the right thing. We look forward to developing their product range further together.”

Orvis, which helped pioneer the mail order industry in the United States, operates more than 80 stores in the U.S. and the UK, and maintains a network of over 400 dealers worldwide.