Worldwide boom of swimwear born of plastic waste

While plastic pollution is killing life in the oceans, companies that create and sell swimsuits made with that garbage are proliferating from Mexico to Australia. A stretched shape of circular economy? Maybe. Surely, entrepreneurial projects born of people who embody a vanguard of industrial production, one that recognizes sustainability as one of its founding principles.

Born from the early years of 2010, the swimwear trend created with plastic waste collected in the seas is in full development all over the world, and adopts a technology born in Italy: it’s called Econyl the nylon fiber produced by the Trentino company Aquafil, leader in sustainable and regenerated yarns, starting from disused fishing nets or plastic materials collected in the seas and along the coasts of the whole world by various partner associations. The Nylon 6 is washed, spun, treated and then sent to the various manufactures that work it, dye and sew to turn it into swimwear. With 10 thousand tons of Econyl yarn, 70 thousand barrels of oil and 57 thousand tons of Co2 emissions are saved.

Econyl production

One of the most recent births in this specific sector is the British Batoko , a member of the Marine Conservation Society, the main charity involved in the protection of the seas of the United Kingdom, which sells only online and is among the few to offer a collection “mini me” with looks for children equal to those of adults.

Always in Commonwealth dress, in Australia he was born in 2014 Ocean Zen , from an idea by the environmental scientist Stephanie Gabriel, who has traveled the world to study projects related to the sea and then decided to launch her swimwear brand. Soon he would like to expand it to an eco-retreat in Tonga.

Two thirty-year-old businesswomen, Anna Nielsen and Henna Kaarlela, Danish and Finnish, used Econyl to launch their Ohoy swim , based in Dubai, where they produce their minimal-chic costumes with local workshops, while in the United States the brothers Jake and Caroline Danehy launched a campaign on Kickstarter in 2015 to give life to their eco-swimwear brand: F air harbor , this is his name, the same of a beach in Fire Island, in the state of New York, where they spent their childhood, has collected 225 times the amount requested and now his shorts have also received the support of careful to the environment like Jessica Alba.

Always a New Yorker, the designer Lisa Jacskon, in 2013 decided to move to Tulum, on the Mexican coast, to give life to her brand, Amara Tulum : before the costumes were made in the Garment District of New York, but for some time the production has been entrusted to small local laboratories. Now on Kickstarter Lisa has launched a campaign to open her first concept store, for which she will use an old container.

The founder of Amara Tulum, Lisa Jackson

In Hawaii, Kelley Chapman and Anna Lieding have launched Manakai , already a rather structured brand with which they also sign two skincare products, an exfoliant and a 100% natural moisturizer.

But that of recycled costumes is not just a world of start-ups or micro-craft producers: this is demonstrated by the case of Adidas , which for years has a partnership with the organization Parley for Oceans and after launching several sneakers made of plastic recovered from the oceans has also presented a first swimwear collection in 2017, again based on Econyl.

For spring summer 2018, the Olympic athlete and convinced ecologist convinced Coralie Balmy was involved. In brackets, even the giant H & M has used the Econyl in its new collection Conscious Exclusive , for example in a wedding dress (also made of organic cotton) of 299 pounds, which will be on sale starting from April 19th.

Then there is the case of a high-end recycled swimwear, the one signed R iz Boardshorts : launched in 2009 in London by Riz Smith and Ali Murrell, former designer of the sector, produces a men’s collection, with few female pieces, which also presents at Pitti. The yarns are always from Trentino, then they are printed in London in “British-Hawaiian” style and packaged by artisanal workshops in Portugal. The brand also offers its own recycling channel copn the “Rizcycle” program, for which you have a discount on a new purchase by returning the old costume.

A Riz Boardshorts creation

Then there are those who are still further ahead, and have therefore taken a step back: this is the case with
Liar the label , a small producer of the Australian Gold Coast, who, after launching his collection, took a sabbatical year to reflect. It is right to recycle, they claim on their site, but perhaps it is even wiser not to produce at all.

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