The outdoor sector is looking for more and more sustainable products. The PrimaLoft development team has attempted to create an insulation made exclusively with post-consumer recycled materials (PCR), which fully meets all the PrimaLoft performance standards.
The world specialist in insulation materials and technical fabrics presented the results of intensive research, the new PrimaLoft® Silver Insulation – 100% PCR and PrimaLoft® Black Insulation – 100% PCR, as well as PrimaLoft® Gold Insulation Luxe™.
The main challenge faced by the American company regarded the melting points of the PET bottles used to create the recycled fibres, which differ from that of virgin fibres. This made it difficult to produce a stable insulation fibre that meets the performance standards.
PrimaLoft therefore had to develop special recycling and production processes, resulting in the production of extremely high-performance fibres that are finer and softer than cashmere and boast high bulk density and unrivalled thermal performance.
Around nine commercially available PET bottles are needed to create the insulation layer for one jacket (thickness of 40 g/m2).
Jochen Lagemann, Managing Director PrimaLoft Europe and Asia, said:
With the new 100% PCR insulation we are able to offer our customers the perfect product that combines performance (which is essential), comfort and sustainability. By 2020 we plan to produce 90% of our insulation products with at least 50% recycled fibre.
One of the first companies to use the sustainable synthetic insulation for its products was the outdoor specialist Vaude, who will convert all products that were previously equipped with PrimaLoft® Silver and Black Insulation to the 100% PCR versions by the 2019 summer.
“It is very important for us right now to blend natural materials, like wool, with recycled materials such as those produced by Primaloft,” commented Antje Von Dewitz, CEO of Vaude. “We continue to pursue the path of sustainability with determination: 74% of our offer is Green Shape. And in garments alone, the percentage increases to 94%. Primaloft is a great help to continue down this path.”
But how is the “green” topic perceived by end consumers? Rainer Angstl – CEO of Sport Schuster, a famous outdoor store in Munich founded in 1930 answers: “Outdoor trends are quite clear. The Urban Outdoor Culture is the new direction taken by consumers who want to seamlessly move from city life to outdoor life. The second growing trend is that of sustainability, although today most customers are still looking for aesthetically-pleasing products and convenient prices, while sustainability still confuses them a little. That’s why, next year, we will strongly focus on this issue by creating a special corner inside the store which will host three major brands that are working to protect the environment.”
Mike Joyce – CEO Primaloft is even more convinced of the growing interest in sustainability:
The demand for sustainable products is growing dramatically while the world is trying to reduce the use of plastic (the raw material behind our recycled materials). Therefore, new sustainable solutions will have to be found in the future, such as the reuse and recycling of clothing.
He concludes: “For us at Primaloft, sustainability is not just about products, but also about our way of thinking. We want to live according to this value. When we build our products, we play close attention to the raw material, certifying its traceability and taking care of its production, as well as evaluating our daily behaviour in terms of the offer, use of energy and distribution choices.”