What is Nylon?
Nylon, a synthetic fiber in the family of materials called polyamides synthesized from petrochemical products such as ethylene glycol and dimethyl terephthalate, by a process called polymerization. This plastic is then put through an intensive chemical process, resulting in the strong, stretchy fibers that make it so useful as a fabric.
Why is traditional nylon bad?
Traditionally nylon is not environment-friendly. Production of the fabric involves huge quantities of water, chemicals, and the use of fossil fuels. The raw materials and by-products are toxic, pollute water and air and cause several health issues.
What is recycled nylon?
Recycled nylon is simply nylon produced from recycled sources: PET bottles, industrial plastic waste, post-consumer waste and even old garments. This process of converting PET into recycled nylon requires much less energy than in the case of normal nylon. In fact, it takes up to 80% less energy. Isn’t that a huge difference?
There are main advantages to this process:
- Recycled nylon decreases our use of petroleum as the raw material for our fabric.
- Keeps PET waste out of landfills and thus less soil contamination, air and water pollution.
- Lowers our overall carbon footprint.
Another HUGE benefit is that the garments created from recycled nylon can be recycled again and again with no degradation of quality, allowing us to minimize wastage. This means garment manufacture could potentially become a closed loop system, nylon could forever be reused and recycled! Something you cannot say about a lot of other fibers. The non-biodegradability of nylon could actually be a good thing if applied correctly!
How is recycled nylon different from traditional nylon?
Because the recycling process reconstitutes the fiber on a molecular level, there is no difference between recycled nylon and virgin nylon in terms of performance and durability, recycled nylon offers the same benefits, including high strength and functional versatility. The differences lie in the manufacturing process using recycled nylon has a MUCH lower environmental impact than traditional nylon.
Why is recycled nylon better?
Producing recycled nylon is dramatically better for the climate, creating up to 80% less CO2 emissions than virgin nylon. That is because recycled nylon doesn’t require new petroleum to create, lowering the demand for new petroleum extraction and reducing our overall carbon footprint. By providing a use for post-consumer and post-industrial polyester, it helps keep waste out of landfills and oceans.
Developing a non-virgin supply chain for nylon fiber has the potential to massively impact global energy and resource requirements.