A new line of sports swimwear, launched 1 December in the Netherlands by Save the Wave, a brand dedicated to eliminating plastic waste from the world’s oceans.
The new line features a range of activewear and swim apparel made from Econyl yarn, a recycled nylon yarn produced by Italy-based polyamide manufacturer Aquafil.
Econyl is produced through what Aquafil refers to as a regeneration process. In other words, instead of downcycling polyamide waste into lower-value products, the process regenerates this into a premium material that has found application in everything from Jaguar car interiors to gala gowns.
Aquafil uses waste from the oceans - mainly ghost fishing nets - and nylon waste that is diverted from landfill, which includes textile scraps and old nylon carpet tiles, for example, in its process. The company has developed a depolymerisation and purification technology that breaks down the nylon polymer into monomers, using temperature and steam, instead of chemical agents, in a process driven by renewable energy. After repolymerisation, the polyamide is processed into Econyl yarn.
“The goal is that once all products containing Econyl are no longer useful to customers, they can go back into step one of the Regeneration System,” says Aquafil.
Save the Wave is not the first brand to produce swimwear from sustainable nylon, but it is one of the first in Europe.
The brand also uses 100% biodegradable materials for its packaging and ‘plantable’ labels from which flowers can be grown. It has also partnered with Surfrider Foundation Europe and donates part of their sales to their Ocean Initiatives.