New ‘Speedo PowerFLEX Eco’ swimwear made from Aquafil’s 100% upcycled ECONYL® nylon. First ever take-back program turns leftover fabric scraps back into raw ECONYL, then new ‘Speedo’ swimsuits.
Aquafil, the leading producer of polyamide 6, has partnered with Speedo USA on a take-back programme that will allow Speedo USA’s post-manufacturing swimwear scraps to be upcycled into Aquafil’s 100% regenerated ECONYL nylon.
The take-back programme gives new life to leftover fabric scraps, which would otherwise end up in landfills, and allows them to be turned back into raw nylon fibre and eventually new swimsuits, the company reports.
“Our partnership with Speedo USA shows their commitment to the environment with the take-back programme, but also their ingenuity in creating products from materials that can be recycled an infinite number of times. They are really helping us close the loop and create a more sustainable manufacturing process,” said Giulio Bonazzi, Chairman and CEO of Aquafil.
“We are challenging apparel manufacturers to be more sustainable and restructure their supply chain to divert waste from landfill,” said Giulio Bonazzi.
“Our partnership with Speedo USA shows their commitment to the environment with the take-back program, but also their ingenuity in creating products from materials that can be recycled an infinite number of times. They are really helping us close the loop and create a more sustainable manufacturing process.”
Launching this week, the new Speedo PowerFLEX Eco swimwear fabric is made from ECONYL and is endlessly recyclable, according to Aquafil, creating a closed-loop manufacturing partnership between the two companies.
Post-production fabric waste
In the swimwear industry, post-production fabric waste has not been suitable for traditional recycling due to its complex technical composition. However, Aquafil has developed a technology that can turn swimwear fabric and other blended waste materials into new raw nylon.
The ECONYL Regeneration System is designed to take manufacturing byproduct waste and nylon materials that have reached the end of their product life – such as abandoned fishing nets and old carpets – and re-engineer them into high-quality ECONYL Nylon 6 for the production of new carpets, sportswear and swimwear. Now, through the programme for both Aquafil and Speedo USA, the ECONYL regeneration process will be used to separate usable nylon from Speedo’s blended post-production fabric scraps.
The used nylon will then be upcycled into raw nylon fibre that can be made into new PowerFLEX Eco swimwear.
ECONYL Made from 100% upcycled nylon waste materials, ECONYL is said to be ideal for creating high-quality garments that are durable, lightweight, breathable and environmentally friendly, according to Aquafil. ECONYL is said to offer the same quality and performance as traditionally manufactured nylon and can be recycled an infinite number of times without any loss in quality.