ECONYL®, Sustainable Textile Made From Regenerated Nylon

ECONYL®, Sustainable Textile Made From Regenerated Nylon

22 Jan 2024

Our oceans are in crisis as discarded fishing nets pose an imminent threat to marine life. Whales, dolphins, sharks, turtles, and other irreplaceable species find themselves suffocated in the nets left behind by fishermen, leading to a dire situation for our underwater ecosystems. Yet, within this environmental challenge, a glimmer of hope emerges through the intersection of fashion, innovation, and environmental responsibility.

In a remarkable move towards sustainability, visionary brands like ASK Scandinavia, and the iconic Stella McCartney, are spearheading a transformative trend. They are using ingenious innovations and cutting-edge technology to convert abandoned fishing nets and recovered marine debris into ECONYL®, a game-changing recycled nylon fabric. Beyond merely crafting quality fashion apparel and accessories, these initiatives signify a collective effort to alleviate the power of our oceans, offering a lifeline to the magnificent creatures that call them home. As we dive into the depths of this blog post, we'll explore what ECONYL® is, its properties, and how it stands at the forefront of sustainable fashion, not only mitigating environmental challenges but also weaving a narrative of hope for the future of our oceans and marine life.

What is ECONYL® Fiber?

ECONYL® is a revolutionary form of recycled nylon that was introduced in 2011 by an Italian company, Aquafil. This innovative material is crafted from discarded items like old fishing nets, worn-out carpets, and fabric scraps that would otherwise contribute to environmental pollution. Particularly, fishing nets made from synthetic materials like polyethylene, polypropylene, and nylon (polyamide) have been a significant source of ocean plastic pollution since the 1960s.

If left unrecycled, these materials can take several hundred years to decompose on the seabed, exacerbating the plastic pollution crisis in our oceans. ECONYL® tackles this issue head-on by employing an innovative regeneration process known as ECONYL® depolymerisation to convert collected waste back into high-quality nylon.

Characteristics of ECONYL®

  • Endless Recyclability: ECONYL® fibres can be recycled numerous times without compromising their unique properties, presenting a sustainable alternative to conventional nylon.
  • Comparable Quality: Despite being environmentally friendly, ECONYL® regenerated nylon matches the quality of traditional nylon, ensuring durability and performance in various applications.
  • Quick-Drying Properties: Ideal for your next holiday or adventure, ECONYL® styles showcase quick-drying characteristics, combining fashion with functionality.
  • Environmental Friendliness: By utilising recycled materials like discarded fishing nets, old carpets, and fabric scraps, ECONYL® actively reduces the environmental impact of fast fashion, contributing to a greener planet.
  • Closed-Loop Regeneration: ECONYL® follows a meticulous 6-step closed-loop regeneration process, using less water and generating less waste compared to traditional nylon production methods.

  • Contribution to Circular Economy: The 'Reimagine' phase of ECONYL® involves integrating recycled nylon into fashion and carpet designs, contributing to a circular economy where products can be recycled and regenerated indefinitely.
  • Innovation in Manufacturing: ECONYL® leverages radical regeneration and purification techniques, ensuring that the recycled nylon is as pure and high-quality as fossil-based nylon.

Manufacturing Process of ECONYL®

The creation of ECONYL® follows a comprehensive 6-step regeneration system, forming a closed loop that is more sustainable than traditional nylon production methods.

  • The process begins with the 'Rescue' phase, where waste materials such as fishing nets, fabric scraps, carpet flooring, and industrial plastic are collected, and as much nylon as possible is recovered.
  • Next comes the 'Regenerate' phase, where nylon undergoes radical regeneration and purification, restoring it to its original purity akin to fossil-based nylon.
  • The 'Remake' phase involves transforming the regenerated nylon into yarns and polymers, ultimately creating ECONYL®.

  • In the final 'Reimagine' phase, circular fashion brands integrate ECONYL® into their designs. Importantly, as nylon can be recycled infinitely, products containing ECONYL® can go through the recycling and regeneration process once they are no longer useful, contributing to a sustainable, closed-loop system that uses less water and generates less waste.

Why we like it? Advantages of ECONYL®

  • Reduced Carbon Footprint: ECONYL® actively contributes to lessening the environmental impact by repurposing discarded materials, lowering the carbon footprint associated with traditional nylon production. For every 10,000 tonnes of ECONYL raw material, 70,000 barrels of crude oil are saved and 65,100 tonnes of CO2 eq. emissions are avoided.
  • Conserved Water Usage: Through its innovative closed-loop regeneration process, ECONYL® minimises water consumption, addressing the critical issue of water scarcity in textile manufacturing.
  • Waste Reduction: By transforming fishing nets, old carpets, and fabric scraps into high-quality nylon, ECONYL® helps combat waste pollution, offering a solution to the global challenge of excessive textile waste.
  • High-Quality Performance: ECONYL® stands the test of time, providing durable fibres that match or even exceed the performance of conventional nylon, ensuring longevity in various applications.
  • Contribution to Marine Conservation: ECONYL® actively addresses the detrimental impact of abandoned fishing nets on marine life. By repurposing these nets into regenerated nylon, it helps alleviate the threat to marine ecosystems, contributing to a healthier and more balanced underwater world.

Significance of ECONYL® in Fashion Industry

Fashion is changing, embracing eco-friendly practices that go beyond what's in style this season. Sustainability is becoming a guiding principle, with a focus on responsible choices. Designers and brands are choosing materials and methods that are kinder to the planet. It's a shift from the 'wear and discard' mindset to ‘made to be remade’ a more thoughtful, lasting approach. Fashion brands often use ECONYL® to make women's bags - stylish and sustainable women's handbags and sustainable tote bags

eco-friendly handbag
eco-friendly tote bag

ASK Scandinavia ◣ agood company leading the charge with ECONYL®

ASK Scandinavia, a Helsinki-based brand, is a standout example. They're not just following the trend, they're setting the standard. By crafting premium handbags and totes from ECONYL®, they showcase that sustainability can be elegant and sophisticated. Their promise is straightforward – to help you make eco-conscious choices that minimise your impact. ASK Scandinavia in collaboration with agood company takes on the responsibility of addressing the overconsumption and fast fashion. How? By using innovative and low-impact materials, they aim to inspire a shift in the fashion landscape. Collaborating with small European factories adds transparency to their supply chain, providing a clear journey from creation to your hands.

Explore all bags made from ECONYL® here:

ASK Scandinavia and agood company

We believe we are not alone in this change. Consumers like you are driving this revolution. There's a growing demand for fashion that's not just about looking good but feeling good about your choices. agood company ◣ ASK Scandinavia gets it. We are not just offering a collection, we are offering a connection – a connection between your fashion choices and a healthier planet.

Conclusion

Now, the choice is yours. Will you simply wear fashion, or will you wear change? The answer lies in the choices you make today. As you navigate the vast sea of options, let ECONYL® be your compass, guiding you towards a future where sustainability and style coexist effortlessly.

In the fabric of the textile industry, each thread counts. Your choices matter. Choose ECONYL®. Choose sustainability. Choose a future where fashion doesn't just adorn, but it transforms. Together, let's weave a narrative of change, where every garment tells a story of responsibility and a commitment to a planet-friendly tomorrow.

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