Kathmandu wins award for ‘groundbreaking’ biodegradable jacket

Karen Pham

Karen Pham


Kathmandu, the New Zealand-headquartered outdoors wear brand, has launched the world’s first insulated biodegradable jacket – which has earned international recognition this month. 

The company was one of the 23 winners for sports and outdoors products in the 2022 ISPO  and the only recipient from Australasia

Kathmandu’s NXT-Level BioDown Jacket is made entirely of biodegradable materials including a polymer used to treat Nylon 66. As a result, the product is super light, soft, and warm and contains a special additive that accelerates biodegradation in the right environment. Once the jacket reaches the end of its life, it can biodegrade in a modern landfill within five years, as opposed to hundreds of years for standard synthetic products.

“Less than 1 per cent of the materials used in textile products are recycled back into textiles, so the apparel industry needs to radically scale up textile to textile recycling,” said Manu Rastogi, Kathmandu’s head of product innovation and product sustainability. 

“At the top of our list for the BioDown Jacket was to design out waste and pollution from the start and keep the product in use for as long as possible. Its ultra-durable materials promise an extremely long life span, yet are entirely biodegradable, should it end its journey in a landfill.”

The jacket has become “the flag-bearer” for Kathmandu’s best-for-the-world circularity goals by 2025. 

“We’re thrilled this innovation has been recognised with an ISPO Award and look forward to seeing more people out there wearing a BioDown Jacket,” said Rastogi.

Kathmandu wins award for ‘groundbreaking’ biodegradable jacket

A B-Corp-certified company, Kathmandu specialises in high-quality outdoor clothing and equipment. Since its launch in 1987, the brand has prioritised the use of sustainable materials in its products and the improvement of global wellbeing through the outdoors.

The company is on its way to achieving a net zero-waste, circular business model by 2025, with the innovative BioDown Jacket a key step.

“The BioDown represents the forward-facing vision and purpose of Kathmandu, to improve the wellbeing of the world through the outdoors, whilst demonstrating our commitment to achieving the business’s broader, zero-waste goals,” said Reuben Casey, CEO at Kathmandu.

Further reading: H&M launches compostable baby clothes with ‘room to grow’

Karen Pham

Karen Pham

Karen Pham is a marketing and branding enthusiast with a major in legal English. Based in Ho Chi Minh City, she is a contributor to Viable.Earth.


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