“With this advancement, a fabric garment may now be completely returned to nature.”
US-based PrimaLoft will be launching a new biodegradable synthetic fabric made out of 100% recycled materials in order to “significantly” lessen the environmental impact of the textile industry. The fibres created by the advanced material technology company are meant to break down when exposed to specific environments, such as landfill sites or the ocean.
The material is called PrimaLoft Bio Performance Fabric and it joins the recently launched PrimaLoft Bio Insulation. According to Prima, it has enhanced the fibres to be more attractive to the naturally-occurring microbes found in landfills and the ocean. The microbes eat away at the fibres at a faster rate, returning the fabric or insulation to natural elements.
The company said that its technology will help to combat the growing problem of microplastics littering the ocean, a significant issue for the textile industry. It is estimated that half a million tons of plastic microfibres shed during the washing of plastic-based textiles such as polyester, nylon or acrylic end up in the ocean every year, according to research from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
Prima (@PrimaLoft) said that its material will only biodegrade when exposed to the naturally-occurring microbes in landfill or bodies of water. Therefore, the fabric remains highly durable throughout its usable lifecycle in a garment.
Mike Joyce, president and CEO of PrimaLoft, said his company’s fabric will help to “significantly” lessen the environmental impact of the textile industry.
He added: “From the beginning of this process, we have always considered fabrics to be a particularly important part of the development of biodegradable materials. With this advancement, a fabric garment may now be completely returned to nature.”
Joyce said that this new material was a “new frontier” and said that Prima had “never saw recycling as the final answer”.
He explained: “We have not only been able to break the biodegradability code but, we’re really setting sustainability forward. It’s going to be very challenging to police the world, but what we can do is effect the properties of the fibre, so that it does no harm.”
According to the company, its biodegradable synthetic fabric and insulation will be available for consumers to buy in 2020.