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Nonwovens supplier Freudenberg Performance Materials Apparel has launched what it claims is the first fully biodegradable padding made from sustainably produced cellulose fibre that completely degrades in soil.

The Comfortemp Lyocell padding meets all requirements for high-performance thermal insulation for sports and outdoor clothing, the company says. The padding is the result of a cooperative venture with fibre manufacturer Lenzing.

The innovative thermal insulation will be launched onto the market this month, and will be presented for the first time at ISPO from 26-29 January.

The degradation of polyester, which is contained in 60% of all garments, takes an average of 500 years. In addition to reduced consumption, more recycling and increasing the quality of garments to ensure they can be worn for longer, innovative ecological solutions are urgently needed for the end of the garment life cycle, Freudenberg says. Comfortemp Lyocell is completely biodegradable within 60 days without polluting the soil.

The padding is based on Lyocell, which is manufactured by Lenzing. Lyocell is a cellulose produced from natural raw materials in an environmentally friendly production process using eucalyptus wood from sustainable forests. The solvent used to obtain the fibres is almost completely reused in the production cycle, which is a clear advantage over other cellulose fibres such as viscose.

“This innovation is the result of intensive research and close cooperation between Freudenberg and Lenzing,” says Benoit Cugnet, head of global strategic marketing at Freudenberg. “As an ecologically responsible manufacturer of special fibres from the renewable raw material wood, the Lenzing Group is a perfect partner for Freudenberg.”

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The fine fibres created from the natural raw material enable Comfortemp to be light in weight and as efficient as synthetic paddings. Thanks to its moisture management, the padding absorbs body moisture up to 45%, and the thermal insulation is also water-repellent, dries quickly, is antistatic and conforms to the Oeko-Tex 100 standard.