The story behind the new Prada Re-Nylon sustainability initiative has been charted across the globe - uncovering the methods by which harmful and wasteful materials - plastic ocean waste, fishing nets, discarded textiles and old carpets - are regenerated, revitalised. These raw materials are harnessed to produce eternally recyclable ECONYL®, the fiber by textile yarn producer Aquafil, which Prada used to create the Prada Re-Nylon collection, also the foundation of a new, entirely sustainable approach to fashion.
The goal is, by the end of 2021, to convert all Prada virgin nylon into regenerated nylon - a wide-reaching commitment to fundamentally transforming practises across the Prada Group.
Uncovering the complex and intriguing stories and examining the multiple countries and communities touched by the Re-Nylon project thanks to the use of ECONYL® yarn, as well and underscoring the direct environmental impact this project has, Prada have collaborated with specialists from National Geographic to create an episodic branded content series exploring its roots - What We Carry.
In the final step of this journey through the Re-Nylon project, we are guided by Prada reporter Amanda Gorman, the inaugural US Youth Poet Laureate whose work celebrates community and social change, and the engineer and architect Arthur Huang, a trailblazer and National Geographic Explorer who focuses on the idea of upcycling waste into new forms. They travelled to Slovenia, a country which has latterly become a hub of a new regenerative and sustainable industry, with 40,000 tons of material recycled annually. It is also home of Aquafil’s production plant for ECONYL®, established in the city of Ljubljana. Alongside Giulio Bonazzi, Chairman and CEO of Aquafil, we are allowed to see some of the intricate chemical recycling process of depolymerisation, used to transforming tons of collected waste into virgin quality, pioneering new ECONYL® yarn.
ECONYL® yarn and Re-Nylon project are unique because they take nothing from the environment: rather, as this series of films illustrates, Re-Nylon gives back. The production of ECONYL® yarn helps fund valuable work to clear oceans and lakes of ghost nets, reduce textile landfill and increase the sustainability of fashion creation by minimising waste. It also provides employment and income to communities across the globe.
The Re-Nylon initiative has a direct, measurable environmental effect. For every 10,000 tons of ECONYL® raw material created, 70,000 barrels of petroleum are saved, which reduces environmental emissions of CO2 by 57,100 tons. By electing to use ECONYL® and to switch virgin nylon production to this innovative regenerated fibre, the impact of petroleum-fueled nylon-production on global warming could be reduced by 75%.
Transparency is vital: What We Carry travels across the world to map the entire supply chain of Prada Re-Nylon - demonstrating the origin of every thread, the history behind each piece. Through five individual episodes, lead by Prada reporters and National Geographic experts, What We Carry shows exactly that - the ability each of us carry, within our choices, to consider their long-term impact; and that what we carry can affect genuine change.
Recyclable, renewable, responsible. Re-Nylon.