Polartec’s recycled Power Fill insulation helps save the environment

Synthetic insulation keeps you warm in wet conditions where traditional goose and duck fibers down come up short. But the creation of synthetic clothing requires the use of energy and raw materials that result in byproducts, adding to problematic environmental waste. Polartec is one of the leading outdoor industry providers of innovative textile solutions and last year it unveiled Power Fill, the most advanced synthetic insulation to date. Power Fill boasts an astounding warmth-to-weight ratio and has been integrated into the outdoor industry’s leading brand clothing lines. In addition, Power Fill was created using 80 percent post-consumer recycled material, making for both a useful and sustainable product — but the company didn’t stop there. Recently, Polartec unveiled its 100 percent recycled Power Fill insulation.

Polartec has long been a leader in sustainable fabrics and just upped the ante. The company has upcycled more than 1 billion post-consumer plastic bottles into hundreds of fabric styles in just about every fabric technology platform. It is accomplishing this by turning recycled bottles into yarn, reducing the need for virgin fibers while at the same time keeping plastic bottles out of landfills. The process involves breaking plastic bottles up into chips, transforming them into a pelleted form, and finally extruding this into yarn. The unique Power Fill creation process results in increased stability and removes the need for disposable scrims, stabilizing agents, or carriers used by some competing insulations.

“Since we launched the 80 percent recycled Power Fill last year, we’ve remained laser-focused on how we could overcome some of the technical challenges that stood in the way. Issues related to the bonding of fibers and temperatures (both high and low melt points) needed to accomplish the desired integrity. We have employed a new technique that sidesteps the temperature limitations and enables the use of fully recycled content in the package insulation,” Michael Cattanach, Polartec’s global product director, told Digital Trends.

Polartec 100 percent recycled Power Fill maintains its trademark hydrophobic, fast-drying, and highly compressible properties. This fabric is also equally durable, meant to last many years — an additional eco-friendly advantage.

100 percent recycled Polartec Power Fill is available in 80 and 100 grams per square meter weights, with the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification. Polartec Power Fill products are currently available from Bight Gear and Triple Aught Design, with more customers planning to join the ranks.

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