Fishing nets have become a huge problem for marine life. Whales, dolphins, sharks, turtles and other marine life are being trapped by the nets left behind by fishermen. But with some clever innovations and technology, fashion could be the answer to cleaning up some of these nets and saving the lives of our beautiful marine life.
A number of brands, like surf champion Kelly Slater’s label Outerknown, or Stella McCartney, are now using fishing nets and reclaimed marine debris to make a fabric, ECONYL, that is not only turned into quality garments, but help reduce pressure on the oceans and their inhabitants.
What is ECONYL?
The ECONYL, created by Italian firm Aquafil, uses synthetic waste such as industrial plastic, waste fabric and fishing nets from oceans, recycles and regenerates them into a new nylon yarn that is exactly the same quality as virgin nylon.
This regeneration system focuses on 6 steps that form a closed loop and uses less water and creates less waste than traditional nylon production methods. Waste is collected, then cleaned and shredded, depolymerised to extract nylon, polymerised, transformed into yarn and then re-commercialised into textile products.
How can it help?
ECONYL is a way to recycle and replace virgin nylon in our everyday products and clothes. Traditional production methods for nylon are not eco-friendly, they require huge amounts of water and produce a hefty amount of nitrous oxide, which is 10 times more potent than carbon dioxide. What’s more, nylon is not biodegradable, and it is estimated that up 40% of man made plastic waste in the oceans are nylon.
The good news is that plenty of Good On You rated brands have jumped on the ECONYL bandwagon: