Polartec

Polartec ‘Cracked the Code’ on 100% Recycled Insulation

Filed under: Apparel  Outerwear 

Polartec says it has finally achieved a fully recycled Power Fill insulation product.

Polartec
Polartec’s Power Fill insulation in the Triple Aught Design Bastion Hoodie.

Polartec’s new 100 percent recycled Power Fill Insulation is a quick upgrade to its 80 percent post-consumer recycled (PCR) material, launched just a year ago.

“This was not an accident,” said Michael Cattanach, global product director at Polartec. “It’s always our intention to have the maximum recycled content. And during development, we worked out a way to be 100 percent with no compromises — only advantages.”

Polartec Power Fill
Millet jackets use Polartec’s 80 percent PCR Power Fill

It’s a milestone for Polartec, which pioneered synthetic fleece in 1981. Among leaders in sustainable fabrics and fills, Polartec claims to have upcycled over 1 billion post-consumer plastic bottles into hundreds of fabric styles.

Inside the Recycled Power Fill Process

Polartec Power Fill

Polartec touts Power Fill as a lightweight yet warm insulation that can repel water, dry quickly, and compress well. Polartec creates the recycled insulation by bonding hollow fibers into a lofty, sheet-like material.

It will be used in cold-weather apparel. High-end brands like Triple Aught Designs, Millet, and Bight Gear are already using Power Fill. The product will move to 100 percent recycled soon.

Consumers can expect the fully recycled material to appear in puffy-style gear and accessories very soon. The ingredient is available from Polartec now.

Polartec

The proprietary process reduces environmental impact while producing an insulation with superior durability, according to Polartec. The technique also creates more stability, a good thing for fabric engineering.

Some insulation makers add scrims and stabilizing agents to make the insulation sturdy. But that added material is not recycled, so that compromised eco-friendliness. The weight of the old additives could skew warmth-to-weight ratios too.

Polartec

With its updated operation, Polartec claims that recycled Power Fill is actually warmer for its weight and reduces cold spots.

“We’re proud to have ‘cracked the code’ required to produce premium quality insulation from 100 percent PCR materials,” Polartec CEO Gary Smith said in a press release.

By
Associate editor Julie Kailus has spent a career covering people, places, and products in the outdoor industry. Julie can be found testing the latest and greatest in her favorite activities — trail running, mountain biking, swimming, snowboarding, and the underrated endurance sport of chasing two sons around the mountains.
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