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Shuksan and Miskanti Fleece Jacket: Less microplastics thanks to biodegradable fleece

Green Fleece for Clean Water

In its Winter 19/20 collection, VAUDE is presenting two new products made from the world's first fleece fabric with biodegradable fiber on the napped inner surface. With the Miskanti fleece for hikers and the sportier Shuksan fleece, an ecological textile innovation has gone into series production, offering a solution to the problem of microplastics that are shed during the washing process – a good 40 years after the introduction of fleece fabrics in the outdoor market.

The first biodegradable fleece from wood fibers was developed for VAUDE's visionary Green Shape Core Collection and presented to the public for the first time in autumn 2017 at the Performance Days trade fair in Munich where the fabric was awarded the Eco Performance Award. As a pioneer in the field of sustainability, VAUDE developed the wood fiber-based fleece in 2017 together with the Italian fabric supplier Pontetorto and is the only manufacturer worldwide to use it exclusively in the Winter 18/19 collection.

Wood for clothing, reducing microplastics in our seas.

Its special feature is the construction. 100 % (recycled) polyester is used on the smooth outer surface. The inner, napped surface of the knitted fabric isn’t made from polyester (as with conventional fleece), but from 100 % wood cellulose fiber. This fiber is biodegradable – even in salt water! So if microfibers are shed from the napped lining of the fleece during the washing process, they can biodegrade in any environment in about 90 days, without leaving a trace behind and without endangering any living organisms.

The fabric combines all the advantages of high functionality with environmental protection, because this natural performance fiber has excellent climate regulating and moisture transporting properties. It is absolutely skin-friendly, so it’s safe for people with skin allergies, and offers a luxuriously soft napped inner surface that’s pleasant to the touch. Athletes especially will appreciate the fabric’s antibacterial properties; in contrast to polyester, sweat odors are reduced, so the fleece needs to be washed less often.

The Miskanti Fleece Jacket consists of 29 % lyocell on the inside (Tencel®) and 71 % polyester on the outside, making it suitable for a very wide range of outdoor activities. This comfortable fleece hoody is a perfect choice for the 9-5 as well as all outdoor adventures.

The Shuksan Fleece Jacket, also with hood, has a high yocell content of 60 %, but is even more robust in construction. The smooth outer surface consists of a mixture of recycled polyamide (25 %), polyester (10 %) and a small amount of elastane. This performance stretch is particularly popular for intensive mountaineering activities, such as ski tours or climbing.

The Women's Back Bowl Fleece Pants are a great choice when you need a little extra heat. These trousers not only add some warmth under a pair of hardshell trousers, they also offer a great combination of comfort and flexibility with a
¾ length that’s perfect for ski boots. The combination of a cozy warm Tencel® fleece at the seat and Performance Stretch Fleece at the legs and hips ensures excellent comfort and fit.

In all of our textiles, the VAUDE Green Shape label stands for environmentally friendly, functional products made from sustainable materials. The Miskanti Fleece Jacket and the Shuksan Fleece Jacket will be available in men's and women's versions starting in autumn 2019.

Research project on textile microplastics:

Since 2017 VAUDE has been involved as a project partner in the TextileMission research project, which is carrying out additional studies on the avoidance of textile microplastics. 

CEO Antje von Dewitz on the background of the product’s development: "Plastic pollution in the environment is a pressing global problem – with very visible and catastrophic effects in the world's oceans. Together with our partners from the textile industry, we want to make our contribution to solving the problem and are extremely pleased that we are now able to use a biodegradable fleece material for the very first time. In the next few years, we will continue our intensive research in order to reduce the shedding of microplastics."

 

More information about VAUDE's initiative to combat microplastics

Fleece made from wood – how is it possible?

 

Microplastics in the oceans:

Microplastic particles from a wide variety of sources endanger the environment, reaching rivers, lakes and oceans, and accumulating in sea life, which is then consumed. This is how these dangerous microplastics also end up inside of our bodies. To reduce this pollution, we have to reduce the amount of plastic waste that we’re producing. And this doesn’t just mean bags and bottles – clothing made from synthetic fibers are also a source of pollution. When they go through the wash, these items (such as fleece pullovers) shed microplastic particles from their napped surfaces. These particles with a diameter of less than 5 mm are only partially filtered out by today's sewage treatment plants and are thus directly released into the environment.

Facts and figures on microplastics in the ocean

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