Aquafil and Speedo USA Launch World’s First Fabric Take-Back Program for Swimwear Industry
August 5, 2015
Aquafil announced it has partnered with Speedo USA on a take-back program that will allow Speedo USA’s post-manufacturing swimwear scraps to be upcycled into Aquafil’s 100% regenerated ECONYL® nylon. The take-back program gives new life to leftover fabric scraps, which would otherwise end up in landfills, and allows them to be turned back into raw nylon fiber and eventually new swimsuits. Launching this week, the revolutionary new Speedo PowerFLEX Eco swimwear fabric is made from ECONYL and is endlessly recyclable, creating a closed-loop manufacturing partnership between the two companies.
“We are challenging apparel manufacturers to be more sustainable and restructure their supply chain to divert waste from landfill,” said Giulio Bonazzi, Chairman and CEO of Aquafil. “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.”
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 cutting-edge ECONYL Regeneration System takes 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-engineers them into high-quality ECONYL Nylon 6 for the production of new carpets, sportswear and swimwear.
Now, through a first-ever take-back program 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 fiber that can be made into new PowerFLEX Eco swimwear.
Made from 100% upcycled nylon waste materials, ECONYL is ideal for creating high-quality garments that are durable, lightweight, breathable and environmentally friendly. ECONYL offers the same quality and performance as traditionally manufactured nylon and can be recycled an infinite number of times without any loss in quality.
Benefitting both the environment and swimmers, PowerFLEX Eco fabric is comprised of 78% ECONYL nylon and 22% Extra Life LYCRA®. The resulting highly durable fabric retains its shape up to 10 times longer than traditional swimwear fabrics, is resistant to chlorine, sagging and bagging and is offered in styles designed for both performance and fitness swimmers at www.SpeedoUSA.com.
Since 1969, Aquafil has been one of the leading players, both in Italy and globally, in the production of polyamide 6. The Aquafil Group has a presence in eight countries on three continents, employing more than 2700 staff at 15 plants located in Italy, Germany, Scotland, Slovenia, Croatia, the USA, Thailand and China. For more information, visit www.aquafil.com.
Made from 100 percent regenerated nylon waste materials, Aquafil’s ECONYL fiber helps divert global waste streams from landfills and oceans and is used to produce a wide range of textile products such as sportswear, swimwear, and carpets. Aquafil started the ECONYL Regeneration System as a sustainability initiative in 2007 and within four years it became an important milestone and commercial driver within the company, representing a significant step towards the company’s involvement in the circular economy. The ECONYL Regeneration System is the world's most efficient industrial system for the production of Nylon 6 and is unique in that it boasts no loss of quality after reclamation and transformation of nylon waste. For more information, visit www.econyl.com.
Speedo is the world’s leading swimwear brand. The teams at Speedo are passionate about life in and around the water, creating revolutionary new technologies, designs and innovations, and supporting swimming from the grassroots to the elite level. In the 1920’s Speedo made history with the Racerback, the world’s first non-wool suit. In 2008, Speedo redefined swimwear again with Fastskin LZR RACER, one of the fastest and most technologically advanced swimsuits ever created; 2011 saw Speedo unveil another world first with the Fastskin Racing System - a cap, goggle and suit designed to work together as one. Speedo is owned by Speedo Holdings B.V. and distributed in over 170 countries around the world; in North America and the Caribbean, Speedo is licensed exclusively to Warnaco Swimwear Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of PVH Corp. To find out more, visit www.speedousa.com.
About PVH Corp.
PVH Corp., one of the world’s largest apparel companies, owns and markets the iconic Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger brands worldwide. It is the world’s largest shirt and neckwear company and markets a variety of goods under its own brands, Van Heusen, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, IZOD, ARROW, Warner’s and Olga, and its licensed brands, including Speedo, Geoffrey Beene, Kenneth Cole New York, Kenneth Cole Reaction, MICHAEL Michael Kors, Sean John, Chaps, and Ike Behar.