Everything You Need To Know About Econyl

Taking over 200 years to decompose and making up nearly 6% of municipally collected waste, 17 million tonnes of textile waste ends up in landfills each year. This concerning behaviour came to dk active’s, and many other ethical fashion brands, attention and has resulted in our environmentally-conscious approach to creating clothing.  


The rise of slow fashion


So what exactly is environmentally-conscious fashion and why is it becoming so popular? The opposite to fast fashion, slow fashion adopts an approach that more carefully considers the processes and resources required to make clothing — including renewable-energy-run factories and recycled fabric that has little to no adverse effects on the environment such as Econyl. With the rise of more environmentally aware consumers, slow fashion has risen in popularity — allowing consumers to make more sustainable fashion choices and protect the environment. 

As a company that uses Econyl fabric in a large portion of our active and swimwear collections and supports the wellbeing of our planet, this blog aims to provide you with everything you need to know about the recycled yarn that is Econyl. 


What exactly is Econyl?


Before we dive into the deeper detail of Econyl yarn, let’s start with the basics. Made from waste products, Econyl is an alternative to nylon that helps reduce the effects of fabric waste on the environment — being made from recycled base materials such as old carpets destined for landfills, fishing and ghost nets from the fishing industry, industrial waste and fabric scraps. 

Used by brands such as Gucci, Prada, and, of course, dk active, Econyl has become extremely popular for its resemblance to regular nylon and the transparency of its production process.


The process of making recycled nylon


In order to produce Econyl, a collection of fabric scraps and waste undergoes a complex chemical process that breaks down the fabric fibres into their molecular state. Once the collection of fabric has been reduced to monomers, it is heated, pushed out a metal spinneret and spun around a type of spool. The fibres then undergo a stretching process to increase their strength and elasticity, are spun into thread then treated and dyed. After this process, the Econyl yarn is ready to be woven into environmentally-friendly fabric for our dk active apparel. 


More than just recycled fabric


But what makes Econyl different from other recycled fabrics on the market? Well, in addition to helping to reduce fabric waste in landfills and the oceans, Econyl also reduces the number of microfibres that end up in our water supply. The production of Econyl bypasses many environmentally detrimental aspects of nylon production, reducing the global warming impact of nylon by up to 90%. In comparison to the production of 10 000 tons of regular nylon, Econyl saves 70 000 barrels of crude oil and avoids over 65 000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions — making it substantially better for the environment and hugely attractive to brands, like dk active, who put the environment first. 


Part of a circular future


In addition to its hugely reduced impact on the environment, Econyl was created by an Italian plastics company called Aquafi to form part of a sustainable loop. Inspired to create a solution to the environmental crisis caused by synthetic fibre waste, Aquafil created Econyl as a less harmful nylon alternative. Recycling fibres since the 1990s, Aquafil has committed years of extensive research and development to achieve the product that is known as Econyl today.

Dedicated to inventing a fully recycled “circle”, Aquafil repurposes fabric waste into Econyl and then recaptures discarded Econyl fabric products for another round of recycling. In this way, Econyl forms part of an endless recycling process to drastically reduce fabric waste. 


Econyl and dk active


From tights to bike shorts, crop tops and bikini bottoms, dk active has a wide range of recycled nylon activewear and swimwear items. Passionate about the environment and ethical processes, we use regenerated nylon spun from fabric waste salvaged from the ocean or destined for landfill — so our customers can enjoy their dk active clothes knowing that their purchase has made a difference to the state of the planet.


High-quality regenerated nylon activewear


If you’re looking for firm and supportive activewear that is long-lasting as well as sustainable, our regenerated nylon clothing is perfect for you. With a squat- and opaque-proof weave, this fabric is ideal for many different types of workouts. 

As a slightly more lightweight alternative to our regular Italian Lycra, this collection is great for sweaty sessions and working out in warm weather. With a UPF50+ rating our Enonyl clothing is sun- and swim-friendly — so you can take your dk active items everywhere you go. 


Looking after your Econyl garments


Once you’ve worn your new environmentally-conscious items from dk active, how should you go about cleaning them? Quick-drying and pre-stretched, Econyl is easy to care for. We recommend washing your Econyl clothing on a cold washing machine setting to save energy and avoid damaging the fabric. Take your environmental protection one step further by using a wash bag or filter to prevent nano plastics from being released into the washing machine water and ending up in the ocean. Alternatively, hand washing Econyl is the best way to prolong its lifespan. Once you’re done washing, simply hang your clothes to air dry — no need to tumble dry. 


Australian-made environmentally-conscious clothing


While recycled fabrics such as Econyl are helping to reduce one of the many threats to our beautiful planet, it is still up to each consumer to make sure the clothing we buy is sustainably sourced and produced. 

Carefully selected to ensure they meet our ethical and environmental standards, all of our fabric is from top-rated manufacturers and always ordered in minimal quantities for sampling to avoid any potential waste. 

From our high-quality Australian-made activewear collection to our loungewear and casual clothing for women and men, dk active strives to create stylish and eco-friendly apparel for the gym, at home or when you’re just hanging out with friends. Browse our range of ethically made clothing that will support you no matter what . 

For more information about how we strive for a better future or our range of environmentally conscious clothing, please reach out to us.