Outdoor specialist Vaude is taking a major step into the post-fossil age with its new Skarvan Biobased Pants made of biobased polyamide PA 6.10. In addition to the ecological advantages of renewable raw materials, this new fabric features impressive functional properties such as faster drying times and high elasticity.
Most outdoor functional textiles are primarily made of petroleum-based synthetics such as polyester and polyamide. Sustainable alternatives have usually been accompanied by a loss of comfort or performance. However, with the company Evonik, Vaude has developed a biobased polyamide that is largely derived from castor oil plants; 62% of the polyamide comes from the beans of the castor oil plant.
The castor oil plant doesn’t require fertilising or artificial irrigation, and survives periods of drought. It is usually grown in dry areas not otherwise destined for any other form of agriculture so it doesn’t compete with land for food production.
The CO2 footprint of biopolyamides is also significantly lower than in the production of conventional polyamide. According to Evonik’s calculations, this is only half of what it would be if the carbon storage from growing the castor oil plant were taken into account.
For the first time, this biopolyamide (PA 6.10) under the brand name Vestamid Terra offers both a more sustainable and more efficient alternative to conventional petroleum-based synthetic materials. The advantages compared to conventional polyamide yarn:
- 7% lighter
- 28% higher fibre strength
- 50% more elastic
- 49% less moisture absorption
The Skarvan Biobased Pants are a real innovation in terms of material and sustainability. Their biobased polyamide increases their durability and significantly minimises their ecological footprint. The fibre’s low moisture absorption brings dividends; for example, during short rain showers and in shorter drying times after washing.
The pants feature high stretch yet retain their shape and, with the flexible waistband and slightly articulated knees, are ideally suited for outdoor enthusiasts. Features include two side slide-in pockets and one zip pocket on the leg and on the seat for important small items.
René Bethmann, Vaude’s Innovation Manager, sees enormous potential in the new material. “Biobased plastics are relatively new in the sports industry, especially in textiles. We hope that sustainable products will have a significant influence on the performance standard of outdoor products in the future. They will help create attention and trust. It is important to understand that sustainability and high performance are not mutually exclusive. Changes in consumer behavior will guide the entire industry towards more sustainable solutions in the future.”
The trekking pants will be available from Summer 2021 in women’s and men’s versions.