Inside the outdoor industry

Q&A: Jochen Lagemann, European MD, PrimaLoft

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We talked with Jochen Lagemann, Senior Vice President and Managing Director Europe and Asia PrimaLoft, about the launch of the firm’s new P.U.R.E technology, which reduces carbon emissions by as much as 48 per cent.

Why now? Simply to follow the market trend or is it a technologically-led move?

PrimaLoft P.U.R.E. is another huge step for us in our mission to be Relentlessly Responsible, which is our intrinsic motivation since many years.  As a world leader in research and innovative development of comfort solutions we strive to develop the highest performing products which lessen environmental impact. For us as a brand it’s crucially important to work on sustainable solutions, not only for products, but throughout the entire supply chain. We will continue to set ourselves ambitious goals.

We completed a comprehensive environmental assessment of the manufacturing and determined that removing the need for thermal ovens was an opportunity to drastically reduce carbon emissions. This is when we started to research, test and finally achieve this technology breakthrough now, after four years development.

Will all PrimaLoft materials now be produced in this way?

As with our recycled materials and PrimaLoft Bio Technology, we aim to incorporate PrimaLoft P.U.R.E. step-by-step in our product range. This will be an ongoing development. For the launch we will start to use it in our PrimaLoft Gold Insulation as a special version, which also uses 100% recycled material as a base.  We have a globalpartner – Patagonia – who will be the first to use P.U.R.Etechnology for FW20/21 season. More to come on our plans with Patagonia in the coming months.

How does it compare in terms of cost?

As the production process of PrimaLoft P.U.R.E. is very complex, it requires significant changes to the way the product is manufactured. As a result, the production costs areslightly higher than for our current PrimaLoft Gold product. We will continue to work hard to refine the process with the hope to achieve a cost neutral level. We recognise that lower costs will improve adoptions of this new technology. By doing so, we can make a larger impact on the environment.

How important is the issue for consumers in affecting their purchase decisions?

Consumers are much more environmentally aware, and many are conscious of this in their purchasing decisions. Topics such as climate change, carbon emissions and ocean pollution are high on the news agenda and you can see by the younger generation taking a positive stance against this, just how important it is.

Price and design will always be important, but this is slowly changing and there is definitely a shift towards longer lasting and more sustainable purchasing.

With so many companies now building their carbon neutral credentials how competitive is this market right now and how do you set yourselves apart?

We think it’s a very positive development, that many brands are working hard on sustainable products and be more sustainable as companies in general. We don’t see this as competition, but more as a joint movement, where in the end the environment and the consumer wins. We as an ingredient brand try to help brands to reach their goal with our sustainable solutions. This general development also means, from my perspective, that acting sustainable is a basic requirement to keep a future part of our industry.

Are you still looking to make improvements to the process?

There are a lot more challenges we are working on to reduce our overall ecological footprint and help push the industry forward – one part is of course also the process. Our goal is to provide holistic solutions that combat environmental issues from all angles. Sustainability for us is not a trend, but we at PrimaLoft are on an ongoing relentlessly responsible mission.

 

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