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All you need to know

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The non-profit association Vesti la natura provides several free guides specially created to promote the use of low environmental impact materials among consumers and entrepreneurs

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ECONYL® is a regenerated nylon, a synthetic yarn derived from the regeneration of recycled plastic polymers. We can define it as an ecological nylon, since it is created thanks to the recycling of fishing nets abandoned in the oceans, domestic carpets, industrial plastic waste, and fabric scraps used by the textile industry.

ECONYL it is part of an international regenerable plastic waste recovery program, involving countries such as the United States, Egypt, Greece, Pakistan, Thailand, Norway and Turkey.

We know that nylon is not the best in terms of environmental sustainability, but let's consider ECONYL one of synthetic fibers more ecological on the market.

This fiber is not to be confused with bioplastics, which mostly come from biodegradable or compostable raw materials of vegetable origin, while ECONYL derives exclusively from plastic materials.

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How the thread is produced ECONYL?

"ECONYL® is the regenerated nylon created starting from what no one uses anymore: we recover nylon waste, we regenerate them giving them a nuogoes life. ECONYL® is recycled nylon, which has the exact same characteristics as that from a standard source, but can be regenerated, recreated and remodeled indefinitely. With ECONYL® you can create nuoyou produced without using nuoresources. "

logo econyl img

The main waste used to produce ECONYL I'm:

  • Old carpets destined for landfills
  • Aquaculture and fish industry fishing nets and ghost nets
  • Special Take Back projects (a network for the recovery of end-of-use materials)
  • Pre-consumer waste

Recovery of fishing nets from the ocean floor

Fishing nets used to create ECONYL

Addressing the issue of environmental sustainability, one of the greatest successes of ECONYL it is certainly the collaboration with the organization healthy seas - a large and ambitious project in which volunteers are involved in recovering plastic waste in the oceans.

The divers of healthy seas they recover plastic objects from the ocean floor, but above all abandoned fishing nets, or lost by fishing boats. In addition to being one of the causes of ocean pollution, abandoned fishing nets cause thousands of victims among various animal species, especially turtles, which become entangled in these nets and end up drowning.

Plastic forms real floating islands in the oceans, contributes to destroying our ecosystem and is one of the main causes of environmental pollution that afflicts our land.

Aquafil, the manufacturing company of ECONYL

Aquafil SPA is an Italian textile company founded in 1969 in Arco, in the province of Trento, currently the headquarters of the group Aquafil. The company has numerous offices around the world: 15 factories in 8 states where nearly 3000 employees work.

A made in Italy project, a country that proves to be at the forefront of thetextile innovation.

ECONYL Regeneration System was born in 2011 in the Julon plant in Slovenia, thanks to the constant research of the company Aquafil, which has developed one of the most efficient systems in the world in terms of triple R Recycle, Reuse, Reduce.

  • Ecological production.
  • Recycling of existing resources.
  • Reduction of emissions.
  • Reduction in the consumption of raw materials (water / energy / materials).

These are the actions that Aquafil puts into practice in the production of nylon thread ECONYL. "Sustainability is not a result to be achieved but a way of thinking, a way of being, a principle that must constantly guide us." Giulio Bonazzi - President of Aquafil Group

Aquafil SPA logoAquafil has various certifications including ISO, OHSAS, EPD, SA8000. These control the materials used for the production of their nylon yarns and verify the status of the production plants in compliance with the regulations for use and for textile production.

While for the management of chemicals used in production processes Aquafil is certified Oeko-Tex Standard 100 and complies with the Regulations REACH.

We can therefore say that the production of ECONYL it is a production with a low environmental and social impact ethics.

A journey to discover ECONYL (video)

The production plants, the energies used, the chemicals used in the manufacturing processes of ECONYL, are all elements that are part of Aquafil's transparent supply chain, but above all they are elements verified by the relevant control bodies.

The production cycle of ECONYL it can therefore be defined as having a low environmental impact, but let's see in detail the 6 main production steps, from the recovery of plastic waste to the marketing of the yarn:

Fiber production process ECONYL in 6 steps

  1. Waste recovery
    Collected all over the world, the plastic waste is transferred to Slovenia to produce the yarn ECONYL. Among these waste we find: fishing nets, domestic carpets, industrial plastic waste, waste of synthetic fabrics used by the textile industry.
  2. Washing
    In the collection center in Slovenia, the waste is sorted and washed, while the waste is sent to special disposal sites.
  3. Depolymerization
    Thanks to a certified chemical process with low environmental impact, caprolactam is extracted from plastic waste: the raw material needed to produce ECONYL.
  4. Polymerization
    With another chemical process, caprolactam is transformed into Nylon 6.
  5. Transformation
    Nylon 6 is transferred to the production plants and transformed into wire spools ECONYL.
  6. Marketing
    ECONYL it is marketed in different colors and in two types of product: ECONYL for carpets ed ECONYL for clothing.

ECONYL textile fiber

ECONYL it is not the name of the textile fiber, but it is a trademark registered by the Aquafil company to certify its production of this regenerated nylon.

ECONYL is a brand exactly like Lyocell Tencel with which the company Lenzing AG certifies the yarns of Lyocell e Modal, or how NewLife another regenerated nylon derived from the recycling of plastic bottles.

Compared to classic synthetic fibers, ECONYL it is very resistant to wear and gives a pleasant sensation on the skin. ECONYL it does not generate electrostatic charges, is hardly flammable, has good elasticity.

It is often blended with other fibers such as cotton to improve the overall comfort of the fabric.


Characteristics of ECONYL

Fabric Quality:

The qualities of the fabric may vary based on its blending with other fibers. Example: with Elastan or Lycra you gain in elasticity.

  Does not shrink / discolor
  Quick drying

Ecological Characteristics:

The ecological characteristics of the fabric may vary based on textile certifications or blending with other fabrics.

  Natural - Artificial - Synthetic  
  No GMOs
  Natural raw material
  Recycled raw material
  Mechanical extraction
  Chemical extraction
  Energy saving
  Sustainability class  

Textile Certifications:

The certifications that can be assigned to the fabric, but which vary according to different factors: manufacturing company, fashion brand, blending.

Global Organic Textile Standard
Organic Content Standard
Global Recycle Standard
Second Life Plastic
Animal Free
Fair Wear Foundation

This card can only be found on www.vestilanatura.it

ECONYL is it an ecological yarn?

One of the advantages of ECONYL is that it can be regenerated an infinite number of times without losing quality.

However, its recyclability depends on any treatments that the yarn will undergo, so it is not necessarily always recyclable. Acquafil provides guidelines for manufacturers who use the yarn ECONYL and who want to maintain the recyclability of this material.

We judge the environmental sustainability of ECONYL especially on the basis of this data, since i textile waste at the end of their life they are a serious problem for the environment.

With ECONYL it is therefore possible to create an ecological fabric and in our opinion regenerated nylons should replace all other nylons on the market for a rapid transition towards circular fashion.

Clothing and fashion accessories made with non-recyclable materials are often destined for incinerators, and the polymers of plastic materials, when burned, are highly toxic to the environment. This is why the development of the circular economy is so fundamental, in all sectors, not just in textiles.

In this regard, we would like to express a thought: patents such as that of ECONYL greatly limit the dissemination of knowledge, this means that other companies will take years of research to produce fibers from recycled materials. Meanwhile, our land will continue to fill up with waste.

Aquafil has invested over 25 million dollars in the production of ECONYL and it is right that this investment yields money for the company, but it would be the case that these researches are carried out by others, perhaps by governments, in order to be disclosed among companies as soon as possible. Pure utopia, but it would be nice.

As far as with ECONYL it is possible to create an ecological fabric, it remains a plastic material and this implies the release of microplastics each time the fabric is washed.

Clothing in ECONYL

Soft and comfortable, ECONYL is a last generation ecological synthetic yarn. Buy clothing in ECONYL it is equivalent to taking possession of a long-lived and high quality product.

Initially used to produce swimwear, it quickly spread among various fashion brands for the production of men's and women's clothing, but also for shoe uppers.

If we were to compare it to other fabrics on the market, we could say that to the touch it is similar to NewLife: comfortable, bright, practical to wear, suitable for sports thanks to its breathable characteristics.

Buy products in Econyl

A showcase where you can find Sustainable, ethical and cruelty free fashion brands guaranteed by the supervision of our association:

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ECONYL and sweat

ECONYL it is widely used in the Actiwear sector by fashion brands that offer this fabric as an alternative to classic synthetic fibers. Thanks to its qualities of breathability and hygroscopy, with ECONYL it is possible to make fabrics particularly suitable for those suffering from excessive sweating.

ECONYL and mites

ECONYL has anti-bacterial properties: mites and other organisms do not proliferate on your clothing. We are sure that soon we will see sheets, pillow covers and various covers made with ECONYL.

ECONYL and allergies

ECONYL it is considered a hypoallergenic fabric thanks to the low use of chemicals during its production, but it remains a synthetic fabric that, although ecological, contains plastic polymers and other chemicals.

There are no reports on this topic, so for those suffering from allergies or skin dermatitis we would like to recommend the use of textile fibers natural of biological origin.

ECONYL vs Tencel

The first time we touched ECONYL we had similar sensations to Tencel. So to the touch they are similar: both soft, bright, pleasant, but Tencel is more natural.

ECONYL vs natural fibers

On the one hand ECONYL, a synthetic yarn made in the laboratory where a team of researchers and skilled workers exploit recycled materials, reducing the environmental impact of textile production.

On the other hand, natural textile fibers: cotton, linen, hemp, silk and the many variations of wool.

First of all, we make a distinction between ecological and eco-sustainable: by ecological we mean a production with a low environmental impact; by eco-sustainable we mean a production with a low environmental impact, but also socially ethical and sustainable in the long term.

We know that the natural fibers they are produced in those countries where agriculture is the primary source of livelihood for millions of people. Whole communities are financially supported only by agriculture.

So what would happen if we replaced all natural fibers with synthetic or man-made fabrics? Probably the economy of those countries would collapse.

This thought holds us back from saying that buying clothing in ECONYL is a more informed choice than buying clothing in organic cotton, or other natural fibers.

To you the choice.

Maintenance of ecological fabrics

How to wash ECONYL?

The environmental impact of laundry detergents and household cleaners is devastating to our planet, so we highly recommend using ecological detergents.

Washing clothes in ECONYL it can be done either by hand or in the washing machine, because this fiber is not sensitive to spinning or hot water (except for tights) and, therefore, no special precautions are necessary, if not the preliminary reading of the label, the which will indicate the need for any separate washing or specific treatments, such as do not tumble dry.

Being a synthetic fiber we recommend the use of a Washing Ball.

Machine wash

Normally, the heads in ECONYL demonstrate excellent color retention; therefore, it is possible to proceed to a mixed washing in the washing machine, with a program for synthetic garments and which therefore does not exceed 30 or 40 degrees.

The centrifuge must be delicate and, in any case, not exceeding 800 rpm; if you wash the tights in the washing machine, it is advisable to first put them inside a netting bag, which will prevent the threads from breaking and damaging the fibers.

To wash ECONYL in the washing machine it is advisable to use a delicate liquid detergent, preferably ecological; although ECONYL is famous for its resistance, the blending with elastane and other fibers that increase its elasticity could make the garments more sensitive to the action of powder detergent.


Hand wash clothing made in ECONYL it is an operation that requires a basin, warm water and liquid detergent; after rinsing, wring a little and apply normally.

Do you want to wash your clothes while minimizing water pollution?

  1. We have selected one of the most sustainable detergent and detergent brands click here to buy an ecological detergent
  2. You could use a Washing Ball to wash without using detergents click here to buy a washing ball
  3. You could use the nuovissimo Ecoegg, a nice ecological egg with which you can do about 720 washes click here to buy the ecoegg egg


Looking for more information on ECONYL? Ask your questions using the form below.

Ask Your Question!

Our answers:

Where can I buy the fabric Econyl?

Vesti la natura has created a table with more than 40 sustainable materials, their respective applications in the textile sector, and their suppliers (even for small quantities). To access the table we ask you to donate a small financial contribution to our association. Click here for more information.

ECONYL is it biodegradable?

ECONYL it is not biodegradable as it is a synthetic fabric, but in some cases the fabric is 100% recyclable

ECONYL does it release micro-plastics?

Like all synthetic fibers too ECONYL releases micro-plastics into the environment with each wash. The positive note is that these are clean of other chemical agents, being a yarn that is produced without using (or at least limiting) chemicals that are harmful to the environment.

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