2019 kicked off with the launch of PrimaLoft® Bio™, the first 100% recycled, biodegradable synthetic apparel insulation and performance fabric, and has seen further announcements which aim to bring together product innovation, performance and a lighter footprint on the planet. In tandem with Helly Hansen, Houdini, L.L. Bean, Norrøna and Vaude, apparel featuring it will be in outdoor shops by autumn 2020.
Circularity, or a circular economy, is an economic system aimed at minimising waste and re-capturing usable resources to be utilised within the system. This eliminates the need to introduce new natural resources, creating a closed loop. A circular economy is a more sustainable alternative to a traditional linear economy, which relies on the ‘take, make, dispose’ model of using resources.
Setting the scene, PrimaLoft president and CEO Mike Joyce commented, “We’ve collaborated with a community of brands that share our common sustainability values and goals. Together, we are establishing a new industry standard for environmentally conscious product design, sustainability best practices and transparency to meet consumer demand.
“PrimaLoft and our brand partners are committed to extending the life of garments through recycling, repurposing and reuse. This is not a promotion of discarding garments prematurely or without serious regard. Rather, this is about providing a Relentlessly Responsible solution for the inevitable end-life of a garment when the time eventually comes.”
On the performance insulation front, PrimaLoft introduced three new products with Cross Core Technology in March featuring new technologies to offer superior product performance. The initial products are fused with Aerogel, which has long been used by NASA scientists in aeronautical applications.
Silica Aerogel is a highly porous, low-density structure that forms a temperature barrier which locks out cold and heat. Aerogel is composed of more than 95% air and is the lightest solid material known to man and one of the most effective insulation materials.
PrimaLoft engineers have found a unique way to integrate Aerogel material into specific fibres, allowing PrimaLoft to develop apparel insulation built to withstand the extreme challenges of outdoor garments. Namely, PrimaLoft Gold Insulation with Cross Core Technology, PrimaLoft Gold Insulation Hi-Loft Ultra with Cross Core Technology and the loose fill PrimaLoft Silver Insulation ThermoPlume with Cross Core Technology.
At the time, Jochen Lagemann, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Europe & Asia, noted, “We always try to push the boundaries of material science and the PrimaLoft Cross Core series represents a significant advancement in our technological capabilities. With this revolutionary fusion of multiple PrimaLoft technologies, we are able to create products with an advanced level of warmth, comfort and protection that’s higher than ever before.”
This month, PrimaLoft NEXT was announced as an innovative hybrid textile platform that combines the thermal advantages of insulation with the versatility of fabric. It is claimed to provide ‘unmatched freedom for the design of garments that deliver lightweight warmth and breathability, without the bulk.’ An early adopter is the German outdoor brand Schöffel, having first products in shops beginning summer 2020.
Günther Herrmann, Head of Product, Marketing and Sales at Schöffel Sportbekleidung GmbH, said, “For our customers, we are always looking for functional innovations that meet our high standards as a quality leader. The features of PrimaLoft Next Series immediately convinced us, and we are pleased to bring this novelty to the market in sophisticated products as the first global brand. ” For consumers, it will result in all-season garments delivering lightweight warmth when resting and extreme breathability when active.
The PrimaLoft Evolve Series is the first product family under the platform. Mimicking properties found in animal fur, the products in this series are constructed with fibres of differing lengths and thickness to create natural highs and lows in the material. This produces highly open structures that maximise airflow when on the move, and air entrapment when at rest, for optimal thermal performance. The result is a thermoregulating system that behaves like multiple layers, without the need for layering.
The PrimaLoft NEXT Evolve Series includes options utilising 58-71% post-consumer recycled (PCR) content, without sacrificing performance; it is also bluesign® and Oeko-Tex® certified plus it can be recycled for use in a circular economy.