What is ECONYL fibre and why do we use it in our activewear?
Posted on June 22 2021
For our sustainably stylish activewear, we are always searching for innovative textiles that take it to the next level and when we discovered what ECONYL® was, we knew we had found a winner. Not only is it kind to the planet and made from recycled plastic that helps clear the ocean and landfills, it is also soft, stretchy and recyclable.
What is ECONYL® and how was it invented
Seeing how most textiles have been with us for hundreds, if not thousands of years, ECONYL® is a newcomer to the textile market and was first launched in 2011. It is made by the Italian company Aquafil, that back in the 90’s started recycling nylon. After seeing the opportunity to work with the increased plastic and nylon waste, they later on invented a complete nylon reuse cycle to take advantage of this and in this process, the ECONYL® textile was created.
ECONYL® is made entirely from plastic waste that has been collected from the ocean and landfills, making it a textile that actually minimizes waste by using it as its raw material. The plastic recycled to create it ranges from abandoned fishing nets, industrial components to old carpets and anything else in between. This plastic is later turned into a textile, using a closed-loop regeneration process where the plastic (nylon polymer) is broken down into monomers, which is then re-polymerized again. After the fibre has been turned into thread, it turns stretchy when woven due to this intricate process.
This final textile, ECONYL® , has the same usage as regular nylon but made in a kinder way that saves the planet resources, helps keep waste out and can later be recycled and reused again and again.
Visit healthyseas.org for more info and to support Healthy Seas activities.
The fishing nets washing line is one of the most impressive parts of the ECONYL® Regeneration System, and a good example of Aquafil commitment to face and overtake the many challenges of post-consumer products recycling.
Why ECONYL works so well with our activewear
At Pama London we are always looking for innovative textiles that are able to reduce waste and that still have amazing fit and form, which can be easier said than done! But when we discovered ECONYL® we were delighted to have found a textile that aligned so well with our values. Not only does this textile have a positive impact on our oceans, but it also has the perfect amount of stretch and a suede-like soft texture that makes our designs feel like a second skin.
That’s why you will now find ECONYL® in our best-selling legging and bras from Stardust & Astrology Collection, where we chose to use this suede-like soft fabric for its ultimate stretch, retention and comfort.
Why is there a need for eco-friendly fabrics like ECONYL?
There is always a need to improve and innovate when it comes to fashion and sustainability, and especially when it comes to activewear textiles. To create activewear that is fit to form and supportive, we need to work with textiles that can keep their shape and stretch but unfortunately, the majority of regular textiles are made using unsustainable production practices. Whether this is through the use of heavy chemicals in the production process or the raw material, finding textiles that go beyond to minimize waste and chemicals can be challenging. It is only by actively searching for and working with eco-friendly textiles, that we can begin making a real change to the environmental impact of fashion.
Because we care about minimizing our impact and making our designs kind to the planet, we are always on the lookout for more sustainable textile options so if you have any ideas, please let us know in the comments below and we can help change the world together✨