Plant-based tech from Madison’s Virent finds its way into new Patagonia jacket

Well-known outdoor clothing brand Patagonia has incorporated a plant-based material produced using technology from Madison-based Virent into a new article of clothing, according to a news release. The new SugarDown Hoody is Patagonia’s first fully biobased jacket, manufactured using Virent’s 100% plant-based paraxylene called BioForm PX.

Using U.S.-grown sugar from the sugarcane fields of Louisiana, Virent produced the paraxylene — a critical component of the SugarDown Hoody’s polyester shell and liner — and a component of polyester that is typically derived from crude oil. The only difference in this case is that the paraxylene was derived directly from plants.

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