ECO-FRIENDLY SWIMWEAR FABRICS
Sustainable fashion is in our core as a business. We support eco-friendly and ethically conscious brands that hold accountable for the environment and the people living in it.
In this week’s post we will explain the different types of sustainable swimwear fabrics used to make eco-friendly swimwear. Of course, our portfolio of brands use them!
The refresh our memories a little bit, let's start with where we come from: conventional swimwear. Traditionally, swimwear is made of virgin nylon and polyester (plastic fibers). It is well-known that it takes plastic 1.000 years to decompose and that landfills and oceans all over the world are loaded with tons and tons of plastic waste putting at risk our eco system… Furthermore, these suits shed micro plastics when swimming or washing them. Dreadful pollution.
One of the most effective solutions to this problem? Sustainable swimwear.
Made from natural fibers & recycled plastic fibers, from post-consumer fishing nets and plastic bottles, sustainable swimwear turns plastic waste problems into fashion solutions by closing the cycle without giving up on high quality and style.
So what are those fibers and how are they made? Let's jump into the main ones!
1. ECONYL® - Upcycled nylon
ECONYL is a regenerated nylon made from post-consumer waste like abandoned fishing nets, fabrics scraps, carpet flooring, and industrial plastic. Over and above that, ECONYL is infinitely recyclable without ever losing its quality. How could we not love it?
The regeneration system is the following:
- Rescue: Waste from landfills and oceans which is then sorted and cleaned to recover all of the nylon possible.
- Regenerate: Through a purification process, the nylon waste is recycled back to its original purity.
- Remake: ECONYL regenerated nylon is processed into carpet yarn and textile yarn for the fashion and interior industries.
- Reimagine: Fashion brands and carpet producers use ECONYL® to create brand new products.
For every 10.000 tons of ECONLY raw material, 57.100 tones of CO2 emissions are avoided and 70.000 barrels of crude oil are saved. Isn't it amazing?
2. REPREVE® - Upcycled plastic bottles
REPREVE is a recycled fiber made from 100% recycled plastic, comprised mostly of post-consumer plastic bottles.
It is certified with the U TRUST® verification and a unique FiberPrint® tracer technology, that can test partner products at any point in the supply chain to verify that REPREVE is being used properly. This is key to avoid misleading counterfeits.
The manufacturing process:
- Source: Recycled plastic bottles and post-industrial waste is collected.
- Make the chip: Waste material is chopped, ground, washed, melted and reformulated into high-quality REPREVE chip.
- Form the fiber: Chip is then melted into liquid polymer and extruded, creating continuous filaments that form the REPREVE fiber.
- Process the yarn: Fiber becomes yarn through spinning and air-jet texturing.
Today more than 20 billion plastic bottles have been recycled into REPREVE fabrics. How remarkable!
3. HEMP - Natural fiber
HEMP fabric is not made from a new technology developed to recycle waste. But its is still one of the most environmentally friendly fabrics exiting.
Hemp is a fiber plant that can produce 250% more fiber than cotton, requires relatively little water to grow (1/4 of the water it takes to grow cotton) and it is naturally resistant to pests.
It also grows very fast and does not damage the soil; in fact it restores it. As it returns nutrients to the ground, it leaves the soil in good condition for crop rotations. It has been proven that hemp is able to absorb chemical waste from the ground because of its bio-accumulator condition, which is very efficient to detox land after it’s been contaminated.
The environment and the farmers love it and so the fashion industry as hemp fiber is one of the strongest ones, it has excellent breathability and superior UV blocking attributes which is ideal for swimwear!
How is the fiber produced?
- Extraction: Fiber separation
- Processing: The fiber is then cleaned, carded, cut and bailed to obtain the yarn that build high quality textiles
Impressive right? Join us on our sustainable journey and contribute to a better consumption. Your purchase makes a difference. A very positive one.
Buy less but better
- ECONLY (2020). The Process [online] Available at: https://www.econyl.com/the-process/
- REPREVE (2020) Discover REPREVE [online] Available at: https://repreve.com/discover
- Natasha Tonic (2020) Hemp: Environmental Advantages of Hemp [online] Available at: https://www.natashatonic.com/
- UNIFI (2020) REPREVE: How is made [online] Available at: https://unifi.com/repreve/how-its-made
- Hemp Gazette (2017) How hemp fiber is produced [online] Available at: https://hempgazette.com/industrial-hemp/hemp-fiber-production/ [Accessed on May 19 2020]