ECONYL® nylon - from discarded fishing nets to sportswear

ECONYL® nylon - from discarded fishing nets to sportswear

april 23, 2021

ECONYL® REGENERATED NYLON

ECONYL® regenerated nylon is made by recovering nylon waste such as discarded fishing nets from the oceans and aquaculture, but also fabric scraps from mills and old rugs and carpets destined for landfills. By turning it into virgin quality nylon yarn for the fashion and interior industries, the already existing material gets a new life and doesn't become part of the increasing amount of waste found in the nature.

 

FAO and UNEP estimate that there are 640,000 tons of discarded fishing nets and old fishing lines in the oceans. These fishing nets, often called ghost nets, remain adrift for an estimated 500 years, and is responsible for the devastating capture of marine mammals, whales, and birds. It's a problem that only gets worse every year.

 

Vain Dane Athletic sportswear is made from ECONYL regenerated nylon. We have taken an active choice not to create additional ressource pollution, when so much is available as waste threatening our planet.  Design is infinite. Nylon is infinite. ECONYL® is infinite and so is Vain Dane Athletic sportswear - once worn out, a new life cycle will begin.

 

THE ECONYL® PROCESS

 

vain_dane_fiskenet_tekstil

1. COLLECTING THE WASTE

The ECONYL® Regeneration System starts with collecting the waste. Old discarded fishing nets, fabric scraps, carpet flooring from offices, homes and shops, as well as industrial plastic from landfills and oceans all over the world. That waste is then sorted and cleaned to recover as much nylon as possible.

vain_dane_econyl_regeneration_process

 

 

 

 

2. THE REGENERATION PROCESS

Through a radical regeneration and purification process, the nylon waste is recycled right back to its original purity. That means ECONYL® regenerated nylon is exactly the same as virgin nylon. There is not difference between regenerated nylon and nylon made from new resources...except exactly that: made from existing resources rather than new crude oil based resources.

 

 

 

vain_dane_thread_rolls_econyl

3. MAKING YARN

ECONYL® regenerated nylon is then processed into two categories of yarn; carpet yarn and textile yarn for the fashion and interior industries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

vain_dane_reimagine

 

4. REIMAGED TO CREATE A NEW LIFE

The advantage of ECONYL® regenerated nylon is that it can be recycled infinitely, without ever losing its quality. According to the Global Goal no 12 - Responsible Production and Consumption - a circular design process is the future and using ECONYL® can be first step on that journey.

 

 

 

Why use ECONYL® nylon, when its more expensive than using virgin nylon

For Vain Dane Athletic our sportswear is a solution to a problem. Sportswear is made from synthetic fibers, plastic, and rather than producing new virgin nylon we want to ensure that existing materials are used for our sportswear.

A rather unfortunate effect has been created by companies trying to make their companies out to be sustainable by claiming that they are removing plastic from the oceans. Unfortunately, this is a diversion of the truth and an effect of Greenwashing, a term coined by environmentalist Jay Westerweld in 1986. The terms describes companies, who spend more time branding themselves with being sustainable and environmentally friendly than actually changing their production and products.

Therefore, its very important for us to highlight that ECONYL® regenerated nylon is also made from the less media limelight stealing materials - pre-consumer waste, carpets and rugs. 

vain_dane_carpet_fluff

Aquafil, the owner of the ECONYL® trademark, has two carpet recycling facilities in California, US. They can each process up to 16.000 tons of carpet annually and break old carpets down into three main components: polypropylene (PP), Nylon 6, and calcium carbonate.

1. Nylon 6 is sent to the ECONYL® Regeneration Process in Slovenia with other waste, like discarded fishing nets or textile waste, to make ECONYL® nylon yarn.

2. Polypropylene (mainly used for the backside of carpets) is used in injection-molding production.

3. Calcium carbonate (stabilises the carpet) is used in road construction and concrete.

Also, pre-consumer waste is used when regenerating nylon. The waste is coming from industrial processes such as plastic components, industrial waste, and fabric scraps.

 

FOR EVERY 10,000 TONS OF ECONYL® RAW MATERIAL, THEY ARE ABLE TO:
ECONYL_nylon_vain_dane_athletic

 

ECONYL® regenerated is nylon not only made from waste - it is also one of the best textile resources, when it comes to climate change. It reduces the global warming impact of nylon by as much as 90% compared with the material made from oil.

 

Aquafil, the owner of the ECONYL® trademark, has partnerships with different organisations. They include Net-Works™ and Healthy Seas from where they get the discarded fishing nets. The fishing nets are recovered in collection points by volunteer divers, who picked them from the sea bed and then sent to Aquafil’s Slovenian regeneration plant. Here, thanks to a unique recycling process, the fishing nets brought in by Healthy Seas and Net-Works™, together with other nylon waste material gathered, are regenerated to make the ECONYL® nylon yarn.

ECONYL_nylon_vain_dane_materials

 

With sustainable processes like ECONYL®'s nylon regeneration, where existing material is reused it is possible to be able to continue to create new products and buy new products infinite. We can have a healthy environment and new clothes - we just need to change the conventional way of thinking about production.

 

See Vain Dane Athletic's brand profile on ECONYL® website:

https://www.econyl.com/blog/case-studies-fashion/vain-dane-athletic-collection/




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