Fishing nets are now a major threat to marine life. The fishing nets left behind are entangling whales, dolphins, sharks, turtles, and other marine animals.
But with some ingenious technological advancements, fashion might be the solution to removing some of these nets and preserving the lives of our stunning aquatic species.
Fishing nets and recycled marine debris are now being used by a variety of manufacturers to create ECONYL, a recycled nylon fabric that not only goes into the creation of high-quality clothing but also relieves pressure on the oceans and marine life.
Econyl is a recycled nylon fabric that was initially created in 2011 by the Italian textile company Aquafil.
It is a cutting-edge substance that promotes sustainability in the worldwide textile and apparel sector.
Econyl is a recycled nylon 6 fibre that is good to the environment and is made only from recycled raw materials such fabric scraps, carpeting, fishing nets, industrial plastic, debris from the ocean, and landfill waste.
Nylon is typically a synthetic textile consisting of polymeric polymers derived from petroleum.
It is a very adaptable material utilised in a variety of modern applications, such as apparel materials in the fashion sector.
Next to polyester, nylon, also known as polyamide, is one of the most well-liked and frequently utilised synthetic materials. Despite being less environmentally favourable than natural fibres, it is incredibly inexpensive to create.
Global nylon manufacturing is constantly rising and is disastrous for humans, animals, and the environment.
Numerous textiles used in the fashion industry aren't sustainable or good to the environment.
The lack of innovation to create ecologically friendly materials has made the fashion sector one of the biggest pollutants in the world.
Renewable resources make up a very small portion of the total resources used by the worldwide textile and clothing industry.
And only a very small number of fashion houses and designers employ materials manufactured from recycled fibres.
Fortunately, nylon can be recycled practically indefinitely. Without using fresh resources, it may be reproduced, reshaped, and made brand new again to make new things.
What Is Econyl?
The synthetic waste used in ECONYL, developed by the Italian company Aquafil, includes waste fabric, fishing nets, and industrial plastic. It is recycled and renewed into a new nylon yarn that has the same quality as virgin nylon.
The six processes of this regeneration system, which forms a closed loop and utilises less water and waste than conventional nylon production techniques, are the main focus.
Waste is gathered, cleaned, and then chopped up before being depolymerized to remove nylon, polymerised, and then turned back into yarn and other textile products for sale.
Econyl fabric is a recycled nylon 6 fabric created from fishing nets, fishing line, old rugs, carpets, textile waste, and salvaged marine debris.
It is a cutting-edge material created using a unique closed-loop manufacturing technique.
High-quality Econyl regenerated nylon fibre is just as robust, long-lasting, and flexible as oil-based raw material.
Nylon has dominated the world since its invention in the 1930s and is used in a wide range of products today.
It is particularly used for stockings and tights, but is also frequently found in tennis rackets, tents, ropes, tyres, seat belts, sleeping bags, and other items.
Many fashion firms and designers utilise Aquafil's Econyl fabric in the textile and clothing industries.
To make fleece, circular knits, coats, sweaters, sportswear, swimwear, hosiery, shoes, loungewear, lingerie, and accessories, regenerated nylon fibres are woven into fabrics.
Econyl can be used alone, but to make it more elastic, it is frequently combined with other natural or synthetic fibres like spandex or elastane.
With ECONYL, we can recycle and swap virgin nylon out for it in our everyday goods and clothing.
Traditional nylon production techniques are not environmentally friendly since they use a lot of water and generate a lot of nitrous oxide, a powerful glasshouse gas that is 10 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
Furthermore, nylon is not biodegradable, and up to 40% of the waste created of man-made materials in the oceans is thought to be nylon.
ECONYL is an excellent programme that is assisting in the cleanup of our rivers and reusing waste that would otherwise end up in landfills, where it would remain for hundreds of years before decomposing. However, there is one tiny problem that needs to be addressed: microfibres.
When utilising the recovered plastic fabric, you still need to be conscious of how to minimise these microscopic plastic particles because they are emitted from synthetic fibres, including ECONYL.
There are many steps you can take to get the most out of your ECONYL products, from using a wash bag or filter in your washing machine to only purchasing items like shoes and swimsuits.
Is ECONYL really sustainable?
Aquafil creates the recycled nylon known as ECONYL®. All of these waste materials are gathered, cleaned, shredded, and depolymerized to extract nylon, which is then polymerised and transformed into nylon yarn in a manner similar to that used to create virgin nylon yarn, but without the need of crude oil.
How is ECONYL made?
A type of nylon called econyl is created entirely from waste materials.
It aspires to be a green substitute for the original product, which is created from a derivative of oil, and is made from a variety of post-consumer waste, including abandoned fishing nets, carpets, and stiff textiles.
Is recycled nylon sustainable?
The advantages of recycled nylon are the same as those of recycled polyester: It keeps waste out of landfills and requires a lot fewer resources to produce than virgin nylon (including water, energy and fossil fuel).
Although recycling nylon still costs more than buying new nylon, there are numerous environmental benefits.
Is Econyl expensive?
Mr. Bonazzi claims that reducing the price of Econyl is crucial to Aquafil's commercial strategy.
So it makes sense to assume that Econyl will cost around what nylon does. Even while this eco-friendly fabric is currently more expensive than nylon, pricing will level off as Econyl gains popularity.
What is recycled cotton fabric?
Recycled cotton is defined as cotton fabric that has been converted into cotton fibres for use in new clothing and textiles.
This cotton is often referred to as regenerated or reclaimed cotton.
Is organic cotton sustainable?
A better and more sustainable option is organic cotton. It is manufactured from plants that have not undergone genetic modification and were cultivated without the aid of modern agricultural chemicals like pesticides or fertilisers.
As a result, it is better for the environment, the climate, and the participants' health.
How Sustainable Is Econyl Fabric?
With their "Econyl" brand of recycled and regenerated nylon, the Italian textile business Aquafil may have the solution as we struggle to develop more practical and environmentally friendly substitutes for common synthetic materials.
What is it, exactly? Adidas uses it for swimwear, and Stella McCartney uses it for outerwear. How is it produced? The most crucial question is: How sustainable is it?
Econyl, also known as recycled or waste nylon, is created from waste plastics like fishing nets that have been abandoned and leftover pieces of clothing or carpet that have been retrieved from the streams and ocean.
Because of its endurance, nylon is ideal for things like fishing nets, yet these are sometimes disposed carelessly and float forever in the water, killing aquatic life.
Similar to nylon, the salvaged waste materials are "re-polymerized" by first being converted from polymers into monomers.
It is already considerably more sustainable because the breakdown process only needs high heat and steam (no chemicals!).
The fibres are stretched until they are as elastic as nylon, after which they are spun and prepared for use in the production of consumer goods.
With the exception of moisture deflection and long-term durability, Econyl and nylon have certain similarities because they were previously the same material.
So, everything seems to be in order? Nylon's inability to biodegrade is one of its drawbacks, but if we can reuse it at the end of its useful life, we might be moving towards a more sustainable future.
However, Econyl only offers a solution to the environmentally unpleasant disposal of nylon, not the amount of nylon generated annually.
It reduces the threat of microplastic polluting our rivers and additional pollution. It should be emphasised that Econyl is not biodegradable in and of itself.
Synthetic fabrics may not degrade for up to 1000 years or longer. According to their website, Econyl offers a waste solution, however this is merely a temporary fix that ignores the inevitable.
According to claims, the manufacture of Econyl saves 70,000 barrels of crude oil for every 10,000 tonnes produced, reducing the overall impact of global warming by up to 90% when compared to the production of materials from oil. The statistics are astounding.
Aquafil wants to lessen its reliance on oil, carbon dioxide emissions, water use, and energy usage by creating Econyl.
Econyl is a chemical-free, sustainable fibre since it is made from nylon waste materials that are melted down, recycled, and converted back into polymers.
Comparatively to the traditional method of producing nylon from oil, the novel mechanical process uses less water, energy, and produces less carbon dioxide.
In comparison to a standard nylon yarn created from virgin polymer, every 10,000 tonnes of Econyl recycled nylon produced saves 70,000 barrels of crude oil and 65,100 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions.
When compared to nylon made from oil, econyl regenerated nylon has a 90% lower impact on global warming.
Econyl synthetic nylon 6 fibres are produced at facilities that are SA 8000, ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001, and ISO 50001 certified.
"Aquafil has played a significant role in the manufacture of synthetic fibres, particularly polyamide 6, for more than 50 years.
It is a point of reference for the entire sector because of the ongoing pursuit of excellence and innovation together with a dedication to sustainability."
Aquafil uses 70% renewable energy for its thermal and electrical needs. In comparison to 2016, the group's yearly glasshouse gas emissions decreased by 58% in 2019.
Despite these benefits, Econyl is still a petroleum-based synthetic polymer. Though recyclable, it cannot be composted or biodegraded.
Econyl textiles take a very long time to break down. As nylon degrades, harmful chemicals and glasshouse gases are released into the atmosphere.
Econyl fabrics also discharge plastic microfibers into the environment that harm human health, contaminate entire food chains, and kill land and marine wildlife.
The cost of the process—recovering the plastic, manufacturing it scientifically, and production—is currently quite pricey, but as sustainability becomes more commonplace in the near future, we can only hope that it will eventually converge with more widely used fabrics.
How To Care For Econyl Fabrics
One of the best ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle is to take good care of your clothing.
Your clothes last longer and you can wear them for longer thanks to it. Additionally, it reduces the demand placed on natural resources and results in reduced waste, pollution, and emissions.
It is advisable to wash Econyl-made clothing in cold water to conserve energy, water, and the fabric's quality.
They can go in the washer, but not at a temperature higher than 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).
Avoid using powerful detergents, and limit the washing cycle to 600 revolutions per minute.
In order to reduce the quantity of plastic microfibers that leak into the sewage system, it is advisable to wash Econyl clothing in a wash bag or filter.
Hanging your clothing to dry is a more environmentally friendly method of drying. Instead of using a dryer, hang them up to dry in the open air.
Your clothes' quality is maintained, and you also save a tonne of money, electricity, and carbon emissions.
You don't need to iron your Econyl-made clothing.
The fabric is incredibly elastic and is frequently combined with spandex or elastane to make it even more so.
In order to avoid any damage, choose the lowest temperature when ironing your clothes.
It is safe to say that Econyl is currently sustainable. It doesn't damage the air, use up fossil fuels, or put any new materials into circulation.
Econyl products run the risk of sharing the same fate as its synthetic counterparts because it doesn't address the basic plastic problem and gives a new life to clothing that would otherwise be allowed to clutter up the world.