Compost Your Jacket? PrimaLoft Launches Biodegradable Synthetic Fabric

Last week, PrimaLoft introduced Bio, the world’s first biodegradable insulation. Now, the brand takes the innovation a step further with biodegradable fabric.

Synthetic fabrics like polyester are made from oil. But while many brands lean toward more sustainable, recycled versions of these human-made fibers, they still do not biodegrade after the product’s life is over.

Thus, waste clothing is a massive problem. Landfills receive millions of tons of textiles each year. And if that fabric is synthetic, well, it will remain for generations.

But today, PrimaLoft adds to its biodegradable platform with PrimaLoft Bio Performance Fabric. The 100 percent recycled, biodegradable polyester significantly expands upon PrimaLoft Bio technology.

Biodegradable Apparel: A New Option

Until recently, few people thought about the waste stream created by their apparel. But with the advent of biodegradable synthetics, consumers and manufacturers have a new choice.

With the introduction of PrimaLoft Bio Performance Fabric, a brand can now use both a biodegradable insulation (PrimaLoft Bio) and face fabric (Bio Performance Fabric) to create a garment that is largely, if not entirely, biodegradable. Zippers, buttons, and any other facets not made of Bio will impact biodegradability.

PrimaLoft Bio Performance Fabric: How It Works

Much like PrimaLoft Bio insulation, the brand bases its Performance Fabric on polyester fibers. It treats the fibers with proprietary technology that “enables a highly accelerated rate of biodegradation without compromising the performance, look, or feel of the garment.”

PrimaLoft Bio
PrimaLoft Bio insulation, shown here, could be used with the brand’s new Performance Fabric for a biodegradable apparel solution.

According to the brand, Bio fibers break down when exposed to specific environments such as a landfill or ocean. PrimaLoft enhanced the fibers to be more attractive to the naturally occurring microbes found in these environments. The microbes eat the fibers at a faster rate, returning the insulation to natural elements.

Standardized testing showed 84.1 percent biodegradation in 423 days under an accelerated landfill simulation and 55.1 percent in biodegradation in 409 days under an accelerated marine simulation.

PrimaLoft also claims Bio Performance Fabric fibers can withstand the rigors of the fabric manufacturing process while maintaining performance and biodegradability.

We look forward to testing both Primaloft Bio insulation and Performance Fabric. If they maintain a standard of durability, longevity, and performance, it could be a disruptive force in the apparel market.

Sean McCoy

Sean McCoy is the Editorial Director of GearJunkie, and 5+ other All Gear websites.

He has been writing about hunting, fishing, trail running, camping, skiing, and more for 15+ years.

Prior to GearJunkie, he was the chief photographer for the Virgin Islands Daily News and former Editor In Chief for GearJunkie. Based in Denver, Colorado, McCoy is an avid trail runner, camper, hunter, angler, mountain biker, skier, and beer tester.