Similar to nylon, econyl is a substance created entirely from garbage that has been recycled.
This recycled fabric, designed as a more environmentally friendly substitute for conventional nylon, is made from abandoned fabrics like old carpets and fishing nets.
Like nylon, econyl is often highly durable and is easily woven into a variety of textiles, including commercial and apparel textiles.
Although it is not elastic in its raw form, this fibre is known for being highly stretchy when it is weaved.
Unfortunately, econyl generally lacks resilience and is not moisture-wicking, even though flexibility is one of its key appeals.
The fact that econyl is extremely flammable, melts if it catches fire, and can even melt when washed at extremely high temperatures is another drawback.
What Is Econyl Fabric?
An eco-friendly substitute for nylon is called econyl.
By using recycled foundation materials, the makers of Econyl want to lessen the negative environmental repercussions of this fabric, which often has a considerable negative impact.
Recycled Swimwear FAQs
How Is Econyl Fabric Used?
Both clothing and industrial uses employ econyl fibre.
Econyl is most frequently employed in the manufacturing of carpet, but it is also utilised to create ropes, lines, and other industrial goods that would normally be made of nylon.
Where Is Econyl Fabric Produced?
Where Econyl fabric is now produced by Aquafil has not been made public.
There are numerous places for this business in Italy and elsewhere, and it's possible that Econyl is made at any one of them.
But it's obvious that one of Aquafil's factories was set up especially to make Econyl fabric.
Econyl production at the company's Ljubljana, Slovenia, Econyl Plant began in 2011, and even though there are no data available for the present, it is safe to believe that Aquafil is still using this facility to make Econyl.
How Much Does Econyl Fabric Cost?
There is no information available about Econyl's current price.
It is challenging to obtain pricing information because Aquafil is the only source for this material in bulk.
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 Different Types of Econyl Fabric Are There?
Econyl Carpet Fiber
Even though Econyl textile fibre has won praise from the textile industry, many environmentally conscious customers are unaware of how widely used this fabric is in carpeting applications.
With the help of Aquafil's partnerships with numerous carpet manufacturers worldwide, traditional nylon is quickly being replaced by Econyl as the prefered carpet fibre for many big businesses.
Econyl Textile Fiber
While Aquafil's carpet fibre and Econyl's textile fibre are both made from nylon 6, the latter company's textile fibre is softer and more suited for usage in apparel applications.
This clothing material can be dyed, treated with flame retardants, and given other crucial treatments much like regular nylon.
How Does Econyl Fabric Impact the Environment?
Econyl's advantages for the environment are debatable.
While it is obvious that this regenerated fabric has a lower environmental impact than conventional nylon, it still doesn't address all the problems caused by this highly polluting fabric.
Let's start by discussing the environmental problems that Econyl resolves.
This fabric is created by turning garbage into useable fabric instead of allowing it to decompose over many years or even centuries.
By using this method, nylon products are kept out of the garbage and the oceans and less microfibre ends up in the water.
The problems with the manufacture of fresh nylon are also resolved by econyl. Hexamethylenediamine, a byproduct of fossil fuels, is the major component of conventional nylon.
Environmentalists criticise the harm that fossil fuel goods do to the environment, yet materials made from petroleum, like nylon, have a similar but slightly different effect.
Local ecosystems are harmed by the acquisition of crude oil and coal, and the refinement of fossil fuels releases numerous poisonous compounds into the environment.
The procedures used to isolate hexamethylenediamine and make nylon also result in the production of additional harmful byproducts that are rarely disposed of properly.
Econyl manufacture avoids the negative environmental effects of nylon production by employing recycled materials.
However, Econyl is regularly dyed, just like nylon, and the majority of clothing dyes are poisonous and bad for both people and the environment.
The problem of nylon's intrinsic non-biodegradability is something that econyl manufacture does not address.
The fact that Econyl is made from recycled materials has no influence on the fact that it is not biodegradable, like all other fabrics made from fossil fuels.
Similar to nylon, discarded Econyl fabrics accumulate in terrestrial and aquatic habitats, adding to the microfibre catastrophe that is rapidly lowering the quality of the world's food supply and drinking water.
While natural materials like cotton and wool biodegrade over a period of years, scientists are unsure of the precise time frame for the biodegradation of synthetic fabrics.
The biodegradability window for synthetic fabrics, according to the most frequently accepted estimations, is between 100 and 1,000 years.
Synthetic textiles will keep clogging up our ecosystems and causing ecological disasters long after humans cease creating them.
The process of making nylon is quite hazardous.
Although it is feasible to create nylon without injuring employees, the majority of nylon is produced in third-world nations where there are few laws protecting employees and multinational firms force salaries as low as possible.
The methods utilised to create Econyl are not well described on the Econyl website.
Waste vinyl is converted into Econyl, according to the material's manufacturers, using a "radical regeneration and purification process," which seems to imply that nylon is melted down and reconfigured into fibres. It is not apparent if this technique generates waste.
History Of Econyl
Econyl is a relatively recent product that Aquafil Global, a top producer of Nylon 6, commonly known as polyamide 6, launched in 2011.
Aquafil, a manufacturer situated in Trento, Italy, was established in 1956.
Adding an energy and recycling section was a decision made by the company in 2008 after CEO Giulio Bonazzi said, "Either you become sustainable or you will have to abandon the business." Econyl arrived on the market three years later.
The Italian manufacturer of plastics, Aquafil, owns the trademark Econyl.
This company is best known for creating the Econyl fabric, however it has also created a range of other textiles and industrial plastics.
The designers of Econyl were motivated by the environmental crisis brought on by synthetic fibres to come up with a nylon substitute that doesn't devastate ecosystems.
Nylon is a fabric that is commonly utilised in a range of industrial applications, including nets and other naval equipment.
Additionally, a significant amount of nylon garbage generated by customers finds its way to the ocean.
The non-biodegradable nylon debris slowly accumulates until it forms islands of plastic that expand yearly, harming marine turtles, dolphins, and other aquatic animals.
However, consumer demand for nylon persisted unabated, and at some point Aquafil, an established Italian manufacturer of synthetic textiles, realised the potential for profit that all the nylon waste in the oceans represented.
Aquafil began investigating the possibility of creating a nylon substitute utilising aquatic nylon waste material in 2010 or 2011, and production of this new textile fibre started in late 2011.
The history of nylon is the foundation of the tale of Econyl.
This fabric was first created by the American DuPont Corporation in the early 1920s, but it wasn't until the start of World War II that it was produced in large quantities.
Due to a lack of silk, cotton, and other natural fibres throughout the war, domestic makers turned to synthetic substitutes for parachutes and other textile-based military equipment. By 1945, nylon and other synthetic fabrics controlled more than 25% of the US textile market.
Nylon gained acceptance as a silk substitute for stockings during the postwar period, and other uses for this elastic, abrasion-resistant fabric were quickly identified.
Consumers eventually realised that the nylon marketing pitch was mainly untrue; rather than being "stronger than steel," nylon was very simple to shred, and its flammability immediately raised safety concerns.
Early versions of nylon occasionally even turned back into coal and water when only a small amount of heat was applied.
Public backlash against synthetic materials peaked in the 1970s with the advent of the environmental movement.
Although customers' animosity towards nylon and other synthetic fabrics has subsided over time, they still dislike synthetic fibres. As a result of this consumer discontent with the available synthetic fibre options, Econyl's creation was eventually driven by market demand.
The Econyl Production Process
The precise procedures Aquafil employs to produce Econyl have not been made public.
The limited information that is now accessible describes a hazy procedure for collecting nylon trash, depolymerising it, and reconstituting the resultant substance into nylon yarn.
Since no nylon polymer is created during this method, no base materials derived from fossil fuels are needed.
However, the fact that "depolymerization" is a component of Econyl manufacture suggests that prior to being reconstituted into a polymer, existing nylon polymer is broken down chemically into a monomer state.
Uncertainty exists on whether the production of Econyl requires combining diamine acid with adipic acid as is the case in the usual synthesis of nylon. It appears that this process is carried out to eliminate any impurities from existing nylon fibre.
The components of recycled nylon are most likely, however, reduced to a molten polymer state, extruded via spinnerets, pulled, and placed into bobbins.
The Econyl fibre can now be spun into yarn, chemically processed, and coloured.
After then, it is prepared to be woven into consumer clothing.
Waste materials, such as recycled fishing nets, must first be transported to pretreatment facilities where they are processed and reduced in size to fit through the Econyl process.
The material is then transported to a regeneration facility where it is placed into sizable chemical reactors that, through a process of de- and re-polymerization, break down the substance's components and produce polyamide 6 again.
The finished item is subsequently turned into yarn.
Econyl has excellent environmental credentials; the use of old fishing nets contributes to the cleaning up of the oceans where thousands of whales, dolphins, and other marine animals perish each year due to entrapment in old nets.
In comparison to conventional production processes, 10,000 tonnes of raw materials recycled into Econyl save 70,000 barrels of crude oil and prevent 57,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
Econyl fabrics support the idea of a more circular fashion business since they can be recycled endlessly without losing quality.
Econyl has the same extensive variety of uses as Nylon 6 since it has all the same characteristics.
Numerous well-known clothing companies, including Adidas, H&M, La Perla, and many more, have already started using Econyl in a variety of clothes, including sportswear, lingerie, and swimwear.
It has uses in the house as well; businesses like Forbo Flooring and carpet idea use it in their manufacturing processes.
Sustainability Of Econyl
Econyl is a valuable addition to the range of sustainable materials presently available. This material supports the idea of a more circular fashion business by providing eco-friendly qualities from beginning to end.
Since econyl is made from recycled materials, it has a far smaller environmental impact than regular nylon.
To begin with, making econyl from used fishing nets contributes to ocean cleanup.
Each year, entanglement in abandoned nets causes the death of thousands of whales, dolphins, and other marine animals.
To create econyl, old nets from ocean waters are used, which lowers the incidence rate.
Econyl manufacturing also provides substantial environmental advantages.
Compared to conventional nylon production techniques, the econyl process saves 16.2 gigajoules of energy, seven barrels of oil, 1.1 metric tonnes of trash, and 4.1 metric tonnes of CO2 emissions for every metric tonne of caprolactam, the organic ingredient necessary to make the fabric.
Additionally, econyl materials may be constantly recycled without losing their quality, minimising additional waste produced by discarded textiles and apparel.
Econyl Vs. Nylon
Finding alternatives to silk for parachutes during the war led to the development of nylon, a wholly synthetic textile.
Since conventional dress materials like silk and cotton were in short supply after the war, nylon quickly discovered a new application and became well-liked as a fabric for women's clothing.
Nylon, however, has a variety of drawbacks, so producers started combining nylon with other materials to create clothing that was more robust.
Econyl is chemically identical to nylon 6, which means that it has the same properties as common nylon and may be applied in a similar manner.
Like nylon, econyl is elastic and can be found in a variety of clothing items, including tights, swimwear, and sporting wear.
The two fabrics' differences can be attributed to how they are made. Nitrous oxide, a harmful glasshouse gas, is produced during the manufacture of nylon, which has an adverse effect on the environment.
Additionally, the production process utilises a lot of water and uses a lot of energy.
Additionally, econyl may be recycled, in contrast to nylon, which cannot biodegrade and ultimately contributes to significant volumes of garbage.
The Bottom Line
Econyl's manufacturers promote their product as a component of a renewable cycle.
The manufacture of this fabric, according to Aquafil, recovers nylon waste, repurposes it into nylon fibre, converts this fibre into textile products, and then recaptures these products for recycling.
It is illogical to believe that Econyl's manufacturers can recover every Econyl fabric item for reuse. The process by which a little fraction of the world's nylon waste is recovered, turned into Econyl items, and subsequently discarded more closely matches reality than the product model for this fabric.
This fabric is almost as damaging to the environment as regular nylon, unless Aquafil actually recaptures every Econyl product produced.
The sole distinction is that a very small portion of worldwide nylon waste is captured during the creation of Econyl and turned into new fibres.
Despite being fundamentally very advantageous, the overall environmental advantages of this textile will not materialise until Econyl manufacturing surpasses that of modern nylon.