Polartec, a Milliken & Company brand, has announced the upgrade of two of its most iconic existing product platforms that now use Biolon™, a plant-based nylon fiber and membrane that sets a new standard for sustainability in functional fabrics. Polartec® Power Shield™ and Power Stretch™ Pro fabrics with Biolon™ fibers and membranes will launch this fall. Both updated fabrics are recyclable.
Biolon™ is a renewable, non-GMO plant-based nylon with a 50 percent lower carbon footprint than nylon 6,6, the gold standard against which other nylons are measured. The properties of Biolon™ nylon are closer to nylon 6.6 than many of the recycled nylon alternatives currently on the market. Biolon™ has reworked a baseline standard and made the best even better in terms of performance and sustainability. Plant-based raw materials make up about half (45–48 percent) of the nylon content in the fibers and membranes of the new Polartec® Power Shield™ and Power Stretch™ Pro fabrics launching this fall. A fabric based on 100 percent Biolon™ is expected to launch in 2024.
“Sustainability is at the core of what we do at Polartec,” commented Karen Beattie, Director of Product Management at Polartec. “We are elevating our sustainable material capabilities by exploring new fibers, adopting advanced manufacturing techniques, fostering innovation, and collaborating with partners. This comprehensive approach ensures that Polartec continues to lead in creating high-performance textiles that prioritize environmental responsibility and contribute to a more sustainable future.”
The innovation, which took two years to develop, is another success in Polartec’s sustainability journey, which aims to increase the proportion of recycled and bio-derived materials across the Polartec range to reduce the brand’s dependence on fossil fuels and reduce its carbon footprint. Several brands in the Outdoor and Cycling markets will launch new products with Biolon™ fabrics this fall.
Polartec® Power Shield™ with Biolon™
Biolon™ plant-based nylon accounts for 48 percent content in the Polartec® Power Shield™ membrane, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent compared to fossil fuel-based nylon. It has a water resistance rating of 20K mm (ISO 811) and a breathability rating of 20kg/m2/24 hours (JIS L1099, B1). New Power Shield fabrics debuting this fall will feature Biolon™ nylon inputs in both the membrane and fabric components, elevating the overall plant-derived content per style while reducing the carbon footprint.
Polartec Power Stretch™ Pro with Biolon™
This dual surface fabric comprises a highly durable nylon exterior and a soft, comfortable polyester interior. It is durable, comfortable and breathable, featuring 4-way stretch performance. Polartec’s newest fabric release successfully replaces half of the fossil fuel-based nylon content with Biolon™ plant-based nylon. The use of Biolon™ plant-based nylon results in a 50 percent lower carbon footprint vs. virgin nylon while preserving all that is loved about this iconic fabric.
“We at Polartec believe that leaving the world a better place than we found it is a responsibility for everyone,” said Ramesh Kesh, Senior Vice President – Government & Defense and Polartec at Milliken & Company. “The launch of Biolon™-based products marks an important step in that journey. For a long time, many thought sustainable options meant a loss in performance, like durability; Polartec has proved this is not the case. Challenging a technology already considered to be at the pinnacle of performance was a big ask, yet the team at Polartec rose to that challenge, and we believe we have created a new standard in sustainability for performance fabrics.”
More information about the new Polartec fabrics made with Biolon™ is available here.