Ecotech materials: can they save the planet?
In our last blog, we discussed how changing the way we talk about the environment can help us protect it. So, inspired by World Oceans Day which took place on 8 June 2019, we’re doing just that by looking at the innovation helping us fight plastic pollution across the world.
Improvise, adapt, overcome
On World Oceans Day, people organise events and celebrations which bring everyone together to learn about the oceans, change people’s perspectives on what the ocean means to them, and encourage creative ways to preserve the water that connects us all. Creators of new Ecotech materials are turning these ideas into reality.
Human creativity is what drives us to adapt so effectively to change. In response to the growing plastic problem facing the ocean, inventors and scientists have put their minds to brilliant use and are creating eco-friendly materials that can help us leave plastic in the past.
ECONYL® regenerated nylon is a yarn made from waste plastic found in the ocean. This includes discarded fishing nets, which cause a high number of deaths in marine animals, and other debris. This plastic goes through a purification process to retrieve as much nylon as possible. It’s then processed into carpet yarn or textile yarn for the fashion and design industries.
What makes ECONYL® special is that has the potential to be infinitely recyclable. With many recycling processes, plastic loses quality each time we recycle it. Eventually, when the quality becomes too low for future use, it ends up in landfill or the ocean. ECONYL® closes the circle as companies can continue to use it to make beautiful designs forever.
Clamping down on climate change
Textile production is a major contributor to climate change producing more CO2 per year than international flights and maritime shipping combined (1.2 billion tonnes of CO2e). Across the full global life-cycle of clothing, the fashion industry has a carbon footprint of 3.3 billion tonnes CO2e each year - almost the equivalent of all EU country emissions combined. Every 10,000 tons of ECONYL® raw material saves the world 70,000 barrels of crude oil and avoids 57,100 tonnes of CO2 emissions, helping to mitigate global warming and plastic pollution.
Despite the earth’s surface being 71% water, a growing global population and climate change are leading to water shortages. Industry and agriculture are partially responsible. The fashion industry uses around 79 billion cubic metres of fresh water each year to grow and produce fibres, dye, finish, and wash clothes. As ECONYL® uses waste materials, it cuts down the amount of water needed to produce clothing as there is no need to grow raw materials, which is where most of the water goes.
Our ability to create new solutions in the face of crisis is amazing to behold. When one door closes, another door opens, and there are plenty of other sustainable materials becoming more popular in the clothing industry. Don’t focus on the closed door, walk through the newly open one to support our oceans and ecosystems.
We do what we can to support the world’s oceans and the precious marine life in them. That’s why we use ECONYL® to make our Black Pack swimwear range. It’s sustainable, comfortable, looks amazing in the pool, and all the proceeds from this range go toward helping the SEA LIFE TRUST. Shop our swimwear online today!