Econyl, a nylon thread made from plastic waste
Converting used fishing nets and other discarded nylons into technical fibres to make swimsuits, carpets and other textile products, is the innovative project pursued by Italian company Aquafil.
In 2011, Aquafil, one of the main producers of nylon 6 for over 40 years, launched the ECONYL® regeneration system, an elaborate project aimed at regenerating the nylon in used fishing nets abandoned at sea and other discarded nylons. The different materials recovered are stored, sorted and processed in line with the regeneration process so that, after being converted into fibres, they can be re-used in the textile industry with an almost endless life cycle. ECONYL® is similar in quality to the “virgin” nylon used to make carpets, sports clothing, swimsuits, and more.
Better yet, the ECONYL® fibre can be recycled several times thanks to the process that Aquafil uses. According to its director, Mr. Bonazzi, “this process can be repeated an infinite number of times with no loss of quality”.
Since then, and although it is relatively new, the ECONYL® fibre has become a hit in the fashion industry, and many brands, including the most prestigious, have selected it to be used in their various collections, including swimwear in particular.