New 37.5® Technology Offering Enhances Biodegradation of Discarded Textiles

BOULDER, Colo. — May 10, 2021 — Cocona Labs, makers of 37.5 sustainable thermoregulation technology, have incorporated an additive that allows 37.5 fibers to biodegrade at enhanced rates once placed in landfill conditions.

Importantly, the new offering does not affect the comfort or performance that 37.5 Technology provides, giving clothing designers more freedom in balancing performance and sustainability.

The amount of waste from discarded textiles is at an all-time high, with very few end-of-life recycling options for fabrics.

  • In the US, only 15% of textile waste is recycled. Textiles make up 8% of all landfill waste. That’s 21 billion pounds of waste, or 70 pounds per person, per year.
  • In Europe, over half of discarded textiles end up in landfills, or are incinerated.

Enhanced Biodegradation

37.5 yarns are now available with an additive that is permanently embedded at the fiber level, enhancing the ability of microorganisms already present in landfills to bind to and break down the fibers, speeding up the natural degradation process.

Unlike other products on the market, this new additive does NOT simply cause the fibers to fracture into smaller pieces of microplastic that then remain unchanged. The fibers are actually converted into naturally occurring byproducts at the molecular level.

Modern, more efficient landfills are increasingly able to capture and reuse some of these byproducts as a renewable energy source.

Third party lab testing under ASTM D5511 shows almost complete breakdown of 37.5 staple fiber in two years in an accelerated landfill environment. In actual landfills, these yarns will now break down over decades, unlike standard polyester that will sit unchanged for centuries.1

1 Third party laboratory testing under ASTM D5511 (accelerated landfill environment) shows 78% biodegradation of 37.5 PET staple fiber in 726 days. Assessment of this data shows that 37.5 fibers are projected to break down 50-80% over the productive lifetime of the average U.S. landfill (80-100 years). The stated rate and extent of degradation will vary by landfill and fabric type and does not mean that the material will continue to degrade.

Posted May 10, 2021

Source: Cocona Labs