In the late 1980’s, we developed jacket prototypes for the Polar Ice Coring Office, who works in Antarctica and Greenland. Many of the participants in the study expressed interest in purchasing the jackets while several others liked them so much that they refused to return them for evaluation. While we KNEW it worked well, cost to entry was high and we found no suitable partners to launch the line.
Fast forward 35 years, we’ve improved upon the insulation and developed Monarch Flyway Insulation using 80% minimally processed, wild crafted milkweed fluff and 20% synthetic binder fiber. That is 80% more natural than most nonwoven insulations on the market!
Milkweed fiber is hollow, which creates enormous ability to insulate. The waxy coating on each milkweed fiber is water repellent. With the hollow fiber and waxy coating combination, milkweed fibers act like a straw to wick moisture away from the body 50% faster than down, and 70% faster than synthetics.
Why Milkweed Insulation?
Frequently Asked Questions
Won't using milkweed destroy monarch habitat?
No. Milkweed is a slow growing perennial that spreads through both seeds and rhizomes (roots that grow under the surface of the soil) that produce clones of the plant. In addition, the pods all ripen at different times, some pods have opened by the before harvest begins so local ecotype seed is being spread from the current stands back into nearby habitats. The best milkweed fields for harvest are stands that are decades old. Monetizing milkweed helps save the stands from being converted to monoculture agriculture and urban sprawl.
How much milkweed do you need to supply the personal insulation market?
A lot. Right now, we are working to secure brand partners to bring Minsolite to market. One brand has tentative plans to launch Spring of 2024, but we are looking for other partners to increase the demand. It is a funny thing, supply and demand. When we get Minsolite to market in significant quantities, we can purchase more milkweed. Our goal is to expand our community conservation programs to over 20 communities by 2030. The goal of Monarch Flyway is to have so many uses for milkweed that we can fully support the monarch migration from Mexico to Canada and the Western migration route.