Have you ever given a thought to what happens to abandoned fishing nets, the ones that are lying unattended at the shore? The old, torn, and worn-out fishing nets serve absolutely no purpose for the fishermen. Some fishermen leave their old fishing nets on the shore, and sometimes out in the open ocean when they realize that they’re of no good use anymore, instead of disposing of them through a proper channel.
While you may not find anything wrong with this practice, allowing old fishing nets to flow into the ocean can have serious consequences for marine life. Are you wondering what harm an old, good-for-nothing fishing net can possibly do? It stays afloat just below the surface of the water and serves as a trap for fishes that get trapped in these nets and eventually die. These dead fish then attract more marine species, and the horrendous cycle continues.
But thanks to some thoughtful initiatives, old fishing nets are being collected and used for a greater purpose – to make swimsuits. You read that right! Abandoned fishing nets are being upcycled into some super-cool swimwear. As hard it is to believe, it’s absolutely true. It might have come as a surprise to you, and you may be more than interested to know more about it.
Let’s see how these fishing nets are being upcycled into swimsuits and what good does it have to offer!
Benefits of Upcycling Nylon from Fishing Nets
Before we can move on to how fishing nets are upcycled and made into swimsuits, let’s first have a look at the benefits of upcycling to have a clearer picture of why upcycling old fishing nets is such an incredible initiative!
The most important benefit of upcycling is the conservation of the environment. It reduces the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. In the case of upcycling old fishing nets, it reduces the amount of non-biodegradable nylon being dumped into the ocean and significantly lowers the threat to marine life.
Conservation of Limited Resources
Making a product from scratch uses plenty of natural resources, including water. The same is the case with nylon. However, with upcycling, limited natural resources are conserved. The production of nylon utilized a lot of water, but the extraction of nylon from old fishing nets use a very small amount of water. Now, do you understand what we mean when we say upcycling can conserve resources?
Reduced Production Cost
Upcycling can significantly lower the production cost. Production of nylon involves an extensive chemical process. Starting from the chemical reactions up until the point when nylon takes its finals shape, plenty of resources are used, and numerous factors come into play that adds to the production cost. However, upcycling old fishing nets saves considerable production cost as all the manufacturer has to do is extract the already formed nylon from the nets and transform into textile yarns to use it in the production of commercially available textile products.
Transformation of Fishing Nets Into Econyl Fabric
Fishing nets are made of nylon that is non-biodegradable. Most of the discarded fishing nets end up in the ocean, and it stays there – for good. There, it harms marine life, including dolphins, sea turtles, and other aquatic creatures. Since it’s not biodegradable, more and more nylon waste keeps on building up in the ocean and forms piles of plastic under the water.
Nylon is one of the most demanded materials around the world. In fact, in some parts of the world, it’s quite a favorite textile material, especially in Italy. And it was in Italy that Econyl was first developed.
Aquafil, an Italian company, looked into the idea of reusing the nylon waste in the ocean and transforming it into a usable alternative. That’s how Econyl came into existence in 2011.
The nylon waste from abandoned fishing nets is recycled and regenerated into new and fresh nylon yarn, whose quality is just as good as virgin nylon. The process is 6-step long. The nylon upcycling procedure uses a lesser amount of water and also produces lesser water as compared to traditional nylon production. The collected nylon waste is cleaned and shredded, followed by de-polymerization for the extraction of nylon. After pure nylon is extracted, it is polymerized again to transform it into yarn, after which it’s commercialized into textile products like swimsuits!
Benefits of Econyl Swimsuits
You might want to know whether swimsuits made from Econyl are good for anything. Well, Econyl swimsuits have taken the world by storm for all the right reasons.
- Econyl is stretchable, making it an ideal fabric for swimsuits. It hugs the body contours perfectly and makes you feel confident and comfortable. Stretch-ability prevents Econyl swimsuits from feeling too loose or too tight.
- Econyl fabric is fairly easy to weave, so it can be made into trendy and stylish swimsuits. Swimwear made from econyl is available in plenty of unique designs, owing to how easy it is to weave the fabric
- The elasticity of econyl fabric ensures that the swimwear made out of it feels comfortable. Econyl swimwear doesn’t feel too tight due to its excellent elasticity.
The Growing Trend of Eco-Friendly Swimwear
People today are more conscious about the environment and their contribution to it. They’re always on the lookout for eco-friendly products that serve the purpose well without harming the environment. And for this reason, the idea of eco-friendly swimwear is on the upward trend. A growing number of manufacturers are working on the manufacturer of sustainable swimwear.
Two of the most prominent names who are upcycling ocean waste to make swimsuits include Ecoswim and Galamaar. They offer a huge variety when it comes to swimsuits. The best thing about their products is that they’re all made by recycling ocean waste. They not only work towards reducing ocean waste but also create pocket-friendly, eco-friendly, and super-creative swimwear that you just can’t resist!
Abandoned fishing nets pose a serious threat to marine life. However, thanks to the concept of fishing net upcycling, we’re, in a way, reducing the threat our practices pose to the creatures in the sea.