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PrimaLoft Bio Insulation | Gear News

100% recycled and biodegradable. This new insulation and fabric is made with the planet in mind

Environmental activism and sustainable products are quite rightly being pushed to the forefront of the outdoor market these days, with the steady development of new materials and production methods finally taking us in a slightly more reassuring direction.

The latest brand to provide us with this reassurance is PrimaLoft, which has just revealed a new eco-friendly material called PrimaLoft Bio.

Just a few years ago, PrimaLoft began making a proportion of their insulating synthetic fibres from post-consumer recycled products. Since then, this process has saved 95 million plastic bottles from the landfill. Now, with PrimaLoft Bio, they’ve come up with a version of this recycled fill that is also biodegradable.

The fibres within the Bio range are said to break down when exposed to specific environments, such as landfill sites or the ocean. This has supposedly been achieved by making the material more appetising to the natural-occurring microbes that are found commonly in landfill, attracting these microbes to eat away at the insulation and thus, returning the synthetic insulation or fabric back to nature.

But don’t just think that it’ll start degrading once you stuff your Bio belay jacket alongside the banana skins and muddy climbing shoes at the bottom of the pit that is your Petri Dish of a climbing pack. PrimaLoft has tested their fibres under ASTM D5511 conditions. That’ll mean nothing to you (and I), but look at it as the standardised method of testing biodegradation of plastics. When Bio was tested it showed it became 86.1% biodegraded after 499 days.

This 86.1% over 499 days figure becomes extremely relevant when you consider that Gore-Tex fabric is non-biodegradable.

“To date, PrimaLoft has saved 95 million plastic bottles from landfills and transformed them into insulation.”

It’s exciting to see brands start to really shift towards more sustainable products, allowing us to focus on reusing the products that we buy. PrimaLoft were keen to stress that they’re not promoting discarding garments prematurely without serious regard; they’ve created this product to create a solution to the inevitable end-life of your kit.

PrimaLoft Bio already has a group of first adopters which includes some reputable brands big on pushing sustainable products to the market. These include Helly Hansen, Norrøna and Vaude.

Not too much has been said about the insulating qualities of the material and how the ‘bio’ qualities may have affected the warmth of the fibres just yet, so stay tuned to see us get this fabric out in the real world, to put it against the competitors.

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