Recycled TPU decreases our dependence on virgin petroleum without sacrificing durability or weather-resistant performance.
Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) is a crucial part of what makes our Black Hole® products so durable. When applied onto fabric, this laminate coating creates a material that’s extremely weather-resistant and abrasion-resistant, so your gear can withstand the most rugged of travels.
But building a plastic-based finish—one that makes up nearly half the fabric weight in our Black Hole products—means tapping virgin petroleum as a source for raw material. To reduce our reliance on fossil fuels without losing the performance our gear needs, we’re making more products with recycled TPU, a change that decreases our carbon emissions from manufacturing by 89% compared to those associated with virgin TPU. It’s the latest step in Patagonia’s path to using 100% recycled raw materials across our entire line.
Made from manufacturing waste
Our Fall 2022 collection includes four Black Hole products made with recycled TPU sourced from postindustrial waste—the Mini MLC, MLC, MLC Cube and Rod Case. In total, this accounts for 5% of TPU across our product line.
We are in the process of converting more of our Black Hole products to recycled TPU material, but we’re also thinking bigger. Currently, TPU can only be recycled if it’s separated from polyester, but our materials and innovation team is actively working on ways to create a 100% recyclable TPU that can be used again and again.