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PrimaLoft’s Latest Insulation Is Made From Ocean Bound Plastic

PrimaLoft‘s newest offering turns pollution into insulation.

PrimaLoft Insulation with Ocean Bound Plastic uses plastic collected near coastlines to create insulation while preventing the waste from reaching the ocean. Helly Hansen and Isbjörn of Sweden will be the first brands to use the insulation in their Fall/Winter 2023 collections.

The ocean-bound plastic insulation is made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled content, with 60 percent of that material coming from plastic bottles sourced within a 30-mile radius of coastal areas. OceanCycle, a social enterprise focused on preventing ocean plastic pollution, certified the process. The certification provides independent, third-party verification that ensures the material’s proximity to coastlines, ethical sourcing and end-to-end traceability, all documented from collection to manufacturing.

“Our latest development is an important solution for both the environment and the recycling supply chain,” Tara Maurer-Mackay, senior vice president, product strategy at PrimaLoft, said. “The quality of plastic quickly degrades once it’s exposed to the elements in ocean water, making it unusable for most recycling efforts. By capturing plastic waste before it can reach the ocean, we’re able to use the material to create products that offer our brand partners and consumers the best mix of performance and versatility with a reduced environmental impact.”

The insulation with ocean-bound plastic features the same performance benefits of virgin PrimaLoft, including durable lightweight thermal performance in both wet and dry conditions.  

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“As a long-standing partner of PrimaLoft, we are proud to align on its goal to create products with a reduced environmental impact,” Øyvind Vedvik, vice president of ski, sailing and R&D at Helly Hansen, said. “Since our introduction of Ocean Bound material in shell jackets for Spring/Summer 2022, we have been eager to incorporate the material into additional collections. We are thrilled to introduce PrimaLoft Insulation with Ocean Bound Plastic to our ski category, allowing us to maintain our goal to provide professional grade gear to help people stay and feel alive, while supporting the positive environmental impact efforts of PrimaLoft and OceanCycle.”

The outdoor brand offers six ocean-bound plastic insulation products, including its popular Alpha 4.0 ski jacket and Sogn Bib cargo pants. Fellow outdoor clothier Isbjörn of Sweden is showcasing its toddler puffin winter jumpsuit with the insulation as well as its Snowball winter jacket for kids.

“As a Bluesign system partner and a slow fashion circular company with bold net zero targets, we are committed to making our highly durable clothing range as sustainable as it possibly can be, without any compromise on the highest performance for kids and teens. Our ongoing partnership with PrimaLoft ensures we can meet our ambitious sustainability goals,” Maria Frykman, CEO of Isbjörn of Sweden, said. “Like PrimaLoft, the protection of our oceans is a high priority for us and being one of the first to use PrimaLoft Insulation with Ocean Bound Plastic fits perfectly with our exclusive online collection this winter season. We’ve even named our products with the new insulation after sea animals such as Sealion and Puffin.”

PrimaLoft has spent years developing insulation alternatives. Last October, the New York-based company released PrimaLoft Insulation Rise, a vegan alternative to natural down that offers what it described as best-in-class durability and resilience for long-lasting performance. Almost 50 global brands, including Lululemon and Yeezy Gap, adopted the material for their fall lines. And in 2018, the company released PrimaLoft Bio, its first synthetic insulation made from 100 percent recycled, biodegradable fibers.

The material technology specialist is familiar with ocean-centric initiatives, too. In 2019, PrimaLoft formed a strategic partnership with environmental organization Parley for the Oceans to reclaim plastic intercepted from remote islands, beaches and coastal communities to manufacture insulation products.