Posted on June 26 2020
Floating garbage islands in the sea, birds and fish dying with bellies full of plastic, beaches littered with plastic – we know the pictures. The SEAQUAL Initiative and ECONYL®, two projects that do something about it. Our SwimWear Collection – made of sea plastic.
Summer, sun, swimming time! As soon as the gloomy winter months are over, everyone is drawn outdoors and to the water. This can be the home swimming pool, a bathing lake or the sea. Beach holidays are a top leisure activity. It is often overlooked that not far from even the most beautiful beaches there is a lot of plastic litter. Huge "islands" of plastic disfigure the oceans, bring death to sea animals and end up as microplastics sometime in the food chain – including ours. A chain reaction with drastic consequences.
Apart from the damage caused by humans, the oceans are a huge, wonderful ecosystem whose depths have still not been fully explored. The oceans and the creatures living in them deserve our attention and protection. Getting them rid of plastic is a concern for many individuals, organisations and now also multinational companies.
However, cleaning work must face two challenges: What to do with the plastic that has been fished out? And: How are the hard-working helpers financed? With ECONYL® and The SEAQUAL Initiative, two initiatives have been created that reconcile both. We at NIKIN are pleased to present the resulting products in our SwimWear Collection.
ECONYL® and SEAQUAL® YARN – the gold mine of waste
Behind ECONYL® is the Italian company Aquafil and its CEO. From the very beginning, the vision was to be able to meet the demands of a finite planet without having to give up high-quality consumer goods altogether. It is obvious that a throwaway society is not the solution. At ECONYL®, plastic collected from the oceans is processed into recycled polyamide. The resulting fibres can then be used to produce robust floor coverings, upholstery fabrics or even textile materials for swimwear.
The SEAQUAL Initiative unites individuals, companies, researchers and NGOs under one roof: collecting and recycling marine plastic. The initiative appeals to small, local clean-up groups as well as larger organisations, and also involves fishermen and researchers. Here, too, the aim is to clean up beaches, sea grounds and the surface of the water. Here, too, the collected material is subjected to "upcycling" and returned to the production cycle.
At the same time, the SEAQUAL Initiative advises and supports the recycling of residual materials on request and also contributes to raising awareness of the issue of plastic waste.
From marine waste to the end product: This is how waste is turned into our SwimWear Collection
To turn plastic waste from the bottom of the sea into a nice bathing suit – or another new, attractive product – many individual steps are required. The first step is the collection of the plastic waste. This can be done when cleaning up a beach, but also when hauling in nets in the fishing industry.
The waste obtained in this way cannot be processed immediately – it is first sorted, because plastic is not just plastic. Similar or identical materials are sorted together and only then treated further.
In the next step, the marine plastic must be cleaned. Only from the thoroughly cleaned material are the shredded flakes, which are then subjected to recycling. In this last step, the waste from the sea is turned into ECONYL® or SEAQUAL® YARN – fibres that are almost indistinguishable from completely newly produced polyester and can now be further processed into high-quality textiles.
What are the advantages?
Aquafil has already founded the "Healthy Seas" initiative in 2013. And the work is bearing fruit. Because for 10'000 tonnes of ECONYL® – recycled nylon – the company saves 70'000 barrels of crude oil, the raw material for plastic. Added to this are the CO2 emissions saved, which amount to around 57'100 tonnes. This is quite impressive. ECONYL® is not only the better choice for avoiding plastic waste, it also helps to counteract climate change.
The SEAQUAL Initiative is similarly successful – brands and manufacturers in 46 countries have already joined the initiative and support the fight against ocean litter. NIKIN is also part of it!
Why did we choose this material?
We at NIKIN are committed to the fight against deforestation and to the preservation of forests worldwide. But we also think outside the box and stand up for everything that contributes to maintaining the beauty and health of our ecosystems. Clearing the oceans of plastic is one of the great challenges of our time. With our SwimWear Collection made from recycled materials, we want to set an example and at the same time give our customers the opportunity to support initiatives such as ECONYL® and The SEAQUAL Initiative with their purchase. That's why our Treekinis and Swimshorts are made from materials that help to reduce marine pollution.
Here you'll find our SwimWear Collection: https://en.nikinclothing.com/collections/swimwear.