“We ventured into the world of synthetic insulation, but were never able to find something we could truly stand behind both technically and environmentally. Our only solution was to create something entirely new.”
US outdoor clothing firm United By Blue (UBB) has launched a bison-based puffer jacket made from discarded animal by-products from the ranching industry. The bison’s shaggy coat consists of a layer of hollow, compactable, resilient hairs that allow them to keep warm and dry in the harshest winter climates. In a statement, UBB said it has spent the past five years creating a supply chain to intercept and harness the power of this natural fibre and divert it from landfill.
“Winter is fast approaching,” said UBB founder and CEO Brian Linton (@brianlinton). “Most of us are pulling our coats from storage or shopping for a new one, guided by the question “Will this jacket keep me warm? While warmth is vital, we’re challenging ourselves to consider an equally important factor: What’s in my jacket?”
He added that the “most important part of a jacket is what you can’t see: the insulation inside.”
The ‘Bison Puffer Jacket’ is insulated with 190gsm B10 Fill – UBB’s green alternative to synthetic insulation made with 50% North American bison fibre and 50% recycled polyester blend.
“We don’t duck or goose down at United By Blue for this very reason. Despite progress in traceability, the down industry’s live plucking practices remain too controversial to consider a viable option,” Linton said.
He added: “We ventured into the world of synthetic insulation, but were never able to find something we could truly stand behind both technically and environmentally. Our only solution was to create something entirely new.”
US bison have an interesting history. The species teetered on the brink of extinction during the 1880s. However, today, the herds have resurged and there are an estimated 385,000 bison in North American private, public and tribal herds, according to the US’ National Bison Association.
According to UBB, North American bison fibre is often considered a waste and thrown away by the ranching industry.
“The Bison Puffer Jacket is the most sustainable down alternative jacket we have ever produced,” UBB product designer Brendan Rauth said. “Incorporating lighter weight and higher performance recycled and natural materials, the bison puffer raises the bar for not just bison-insulated outerwear, but sustainable outerwear.”