PrimaLoft, a leader in technology solutions, has launched PrimaLoft Bio, the first-ever biodegradable synthetic insulation, a proprietary technology that can transform the apparel industry. PrimaLoft Bio will reduce the length of time products remain in or are exposed to landfills and oceans, without compromising PrimaLoft’s product performance standards.

Synthetic insulation was originally designed to withstand the outdoors; PrimaLoft Bio is designed to turn insulation into the outdoors. PrimaLoft Bio is part of PrimaLoft’s commitment to being relentlessly responsible, the company said in a statement. PrimaLoft Bio is a textile breakthrough that begins as 100 per cent post-consumer recycled materials and, when it reaches the end of its usable life cycle, leaves behind 100 per cent natural elements. In accelerated test conditions simulating a landfill environment, PrimaLoft Bio fibres biodegrade at a highly accelerated rate, as compared to negligible degradation in standard polyester, in the same conditions.

These fibres break down, when exposed to the right environment – like a landfill or the ocean. PrimaLoft has altered the fibres to be more attractive to the naturally-occurring microbes found in these environments. The microbes eat away at the fibres at an accelerated rate. The biodegradation process leaves behind water, methane, CO2, and biomass. PrimaLoft Bio insulation will only biodegrade when exposed to the microbes in specific environments, thus, the insulation remains highly durable throughout its usable life cycle in a garment. This technology will not change the performance, look, or feel of the garment.

In order to ascertain the biodegradation rate of the fibres, PrimaLoft Bio has undergone extensive, thorough testing in conditions that simulate landfill environments. This ASTM D5511 testing has verified the biodegradability of PrimaLoft Bio fibres. In accelerated test conditions simulating a landfill environment, PrimaLoft Bio fibres have reached near complete biodegradation in 365 days, a highly accelerated rate as compared to the negligible degradation observed in standard polyester, under the same conditions.

Developed by PrimaLoft’s team of scientists and engineers, beginning in 2014, it took two years of research, one year to develop and one year to test using a third-party laboratory. PrimaLoft Bio is expected to be in consumers’ hands by 2020. PrimaLoft was determined to find a solution at the material level that addressed the issue of plastics in the environment. PrimaLoft Bio directly addresses this issue by significantly decreasing the time it takes for synthetic insulation to biodegrade.