Jochen Lagemann, senior vice president and managing director Europe and Asia at PrimaLoft, speaks about the company’s newest product, PrimaLoft NEXT.
Earlier this summer, PrimaLoft, a leader in advanced material technology, introduced PrimaLoft NEXT – a brand new, innovative textile platform that combines the thermal advantages of insulation with the versatility of fabric.
PrimaLoft NEXT provides ‘unmatched’ creative freedom for designers to experiment with garments that deliver lightweight warmth and breathability, without the bulk.
“The ‘x’ in NEXT identifies the crossover between insulation, where you get the warmth, mixed with the versatility of fabrics,” says Lagemann.
“It’s not really a fabric and it’s not really insulation; it’s a completely new product category.”
Available from summer 2020, the PrimaLoft NEXT Evolve Series is the first product family under this platform.
Modelled after the structural benefits found in nature, the Evolve Series leverages biomimicry to engineer a unique series of products that emulate biological processes.
“What it does is mimic the structure of animal fur,” Lagemann explains.
“Fur consists of a mix of long, short, thin and thick hairs and the structure of PrimaLoft NEXT comprises a mix of long, short, thin and thick fibres.”
This development is ideal for use in active environments. For example, the material is breathable for when you are on the move, but when resting the long fibres help to trap air to keep you warm.
“You can have breathability when you need it and the insulation still keeps you warm,” says Lagemann.
This thermoregulating system is also lightweight and so it behaves like multiple layers of clothing without that need for layering – a feature that consumers increasingly demand.
Another interesting feature about PrimaLoft NEXT is that it can be used next to the skin. This means it can be partnered with just an outer shell with no need for a liner.
“This feature means that you can skip some manufacturing steps, which leads to minimising manufacturing costs,” says Lagemann.
Not only is the addition of PrimaLoft NEXT exciting for the company, but it should also excite brands out there who incorporate insulation into their collections. This ‘new category’ of part insulation, part fabric, adds functionality and further possibilities, which means companies can expand their product lines.
“With this, we can create new business power,” says Lagemann.
PrimaLoft NEXT has also been developed with sustainability in mind. The Evolve Series includes options utilising 58-71% post-consumer recycled content, without sacrificing performance. It is also both Bluesign and Oeko-Tex certified.
Additionally, because PrimaLoft comprises 100% polyester, it can be chemically recycled for use in a circular economy. The chemical recycling process breaks down polyester to its basic components so that it can be rejuvenated into a new high-performance material, without compromising its original integrity.
“Sustainability is not a trend,” says Lagemann. “It’s not like skinny jeans coming in and flares going out. It is more of a movement that will hopefully never go away.
“The demand for sustainability really comes from the outdoor sector. These consumers want to go out and see the flowers, wildlife and fresh water, so they care about protecting them.”
Lagemann continues to say that PrimaLoft is now looking to add the company’s new PrimaLoft Biotechnology to the NEXT platform. PrimaLoft Bio was introduced to the industry in 2018 and is the ‘first-ever’ 100% recycled and biodegradable synthetic fibre. First products using PrimaLoft Bio will hit the market in Fall 2020.
In terms of working with brands, Schöffel, a European company with a discerning focus on the most innovative fabrics and techniques, has signed on as an early adopter of the PrimaLoft NEXT Evolve Series.
“Schöffel is the first brand to jump on board but there are more to come,” says Lagemann.
When talking about the future, Lagemann explains that the company is currently in the middle of preparing for autumn 2020 and working with customers also in autumn 2021 collections.
“Internally, we are already working on new technologies for 2022, 2023 and so on,” he adds. “We have a huge funnel of innovation that we are working on and want to work on, so there’s a lot more to come.”
For example, later this year, PrimaLoft Insulation ThermoPlume (synthetic loose-fill insulation) is being added to different brands’ collections. For the first time, it will be seen in garments for applications such as trail running and mountain biking.
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