Recycled nylon - From fishing net to fiber

fiber history

Polyester recyclé à partir de bouteilles plastiques

Nylon, a well-known and widespread fibre, considered by many to be an eco-responsible fiber when recycled, but one of the most polluting when created from petroleum. What makes it one of the fibers most used by the sports industry, and acclaimed by eco-responsible brands?

Being a polyamide, like our castor fiber, but a PA6.6, nylon is a synthetic fiber derived like polyester from petroleum processing. Our choice is to use a recycled nylon fiber, offered by ECONYL.

The story is simple. This company has decided to act on plastic pollution in the oceans, and by this choice, to recycle fishing nets, intended to have a second life. This recycling of a waste that is very troublesome (in particular for the oceanic animal flora) then becomes positive when the net is transformed. 

Of course, ECONYL communicates about fishing nets, but the recycled fabric you wear also comes from other sources, such as polyamide fabric scraps, and other similar waste.

Once harvested, this raw material can therefore be transformed (crushed, melted or reduced to shavings) to obtain the famous polymers intended for textile spinning.

The eco-responsible solution of recycled nylon is a first step towards cleaner sport and a lower impact on the environment for athletes. Attention, this does not mean that the impact is positive for such a fiber. We must not forget that micro-plastics which are today a problem that cannot be concealed. However, in the transition process that we are trying to lead, this recycling channel seems to us to be a first step towards our exit from oil dependence, already initiated by NOSC with castor fiber, a bio-sourced fiber.

Manufacturing process

process recycling nylon fishing net textile fiber

The mechanical process of transformation and recycling damages the fiber, but nylon being a polyamide, the resistance of the latter is only slightly impacted. We can then use recycled nylon without fear for more eco-responsible sportswear than a simple sports t-shirt in polyester made from petroleum, for example.

1st step : Waste collection, post-consumer fabric scraps, fishing nets, etc.

2nd step : Crushing of materials into chips.

3rd step : Polymerization. Creation of polyamide 6.6 beads used in step 4.

4th step : Summarizing this step, it consists of mechanically extruding the balls into fibers. The spinning company can then make different sizes (counts) to offer them to weaving or knitting partners for confection.

Technical benefits for sport

Avantages techniques fibre polyester recyclé pour le sport

This is all well and good, but why is this fiber of interest to us for sport? For several reasons and that's why we love it so much!

Recycled nylon is naturally elastic. It is a fiber that brands use a lot in sports for its properties of flexibility and elasticity. This is what convinced us to the WILD shorts for example.

Its resistance makes it an important ally for demanding athletes. Limiting friction and very resistant to it, it avoids premature wear of sportswear made of recycled nylon.

Added to this is a feature absorption, which makes this recycled fiber a perfect alternative for all products related to water sports or moisture management (endurance sports). Many of your swimsuits (eco-responsible we hope!) are for example made from polyamide 6.6

Environmental benefits for the planet

Réduction recyclage bouteilles plastiques sport

1- Second life given to fishing nets and other products made of Nylon

2- Circular and infinite life cycle, the yarn can be recycled by the same technique indefinitely

3- Limitation of plastic pollution at sea

4- Italian production, reducing the impact of transport

The limits of this material

1- High purchase price affecting the price of the final product.

2- Very shiny: appearance which can be disturbing depending on the materials.

3- Excluding recycling, nylon is a polyamide derived from petroleum.

4- Often mixed with other materials, it becomes very complex to recycle.

5- Undeniable problem of micro-plastics. Use of a guppyfriend bag recommended.

bouteille plastique