Milkweed: a plant-based and locally grown insulation.
Once thought of as a weed, this fibre has been gaining notoriety as an insulator. Also known as “Silk of America,” milkweed is plant-based, a great insulator, locally grown, renewable, light, and hypoallergenic. Harvesting milkweed ensures the survival of the Monarch butterfly, which uses the plant in its reproductive cycle. Harvest is done late in the season after the butterfly has migrated south.

Alongside a team of 5 designers, we transformed the harvest into mats of insulation, used for our mid-layer jacket. Being plant-based, the insulation is unique compared to all other insulations on the market. The thermal capacity of this insulation is excellent, and only a small amount is required to insulate a jacket, allowing for very light products. The fibre also retains heat when compressed, in the crease of your arm for example. The decision to choose milkweed as insulation was motivated by the cold, humid and windy environment we have to face in Montreal.
Starting from a "basic block," we draped our fabric over our model and began fitting. We focused on incorporating milkweed quilting into the areas covering the neck and chest; which require the most protection from heat loss.

Combining a muted color palette, sans serif text and borderless images allows Not Down’s branding to be simultaneously bold and uncomplicated. Using soft curves and rounded edges, our graphics are approachable and friendly.
We chose to color our fabric using natural blackbean dye. Dried blackbeans are inexpensive, ecofriendly, non-carcinogenic, non-allergenic, and non-toxic to humans. They are also easily accessible and have a high pigment yield.

We decided to use silkscreen printing for our garment’s tags and product labels, since it's water-based and versatile with fabrics.

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