Material Spotlight: Recycled Nylon

Material Spotlight: Recycled Nylon

Recycled nylon is having a moment in the spotlight for Spring ‘22. It makes an appearance in some of our favorite bags and activewear of the season, so we thought it deserved a proper breakdown to talk about what it is, why we’re using it, and what it means for sustainable fashion.

What is it?

Recycled nylon is (you guessed it) old nylon repurposed into new yarn. Ours comes from industrial raw materials that are considered defective and would typically be discarded and thrown away. Rather than letting them go off to landfills, our material partners salvage the “waste” and spin it into new, perfectly usable yarn. The fabric is also certified by the Global Recycling Standard (GRS), meaning that its recycled content is verified and tracked by a third party. GRS also ensures responsible social and environmental practices during its production.

What’s so great about it?

Nylon is an incredibly functional material that’s strong, elastic, lightweight, and moisture wicking – making it a popular choice for things like activewear and swimwear. Recycled nylon has all of the same properties as virgin nylon but with a much smaller environmental footprint, requiring less water, energy, and fossil fuels. And in addition to already being recycled, it’s also infinitely recyclable, contributing to its circularity. Essentially, it checked all the boxes for our newest, active-minded Sport Shorts and (Re)active™ bags.

Is it perfect?

Of course not. As with most sustainability topics, there’s always nuance to the conversation. Like anything manufactured, recycled nylon still requires energy and resources. Although it doesn’t directly use fossil fuels to create, it’s still a byproduct of the virgin nylon industry which does (time will tell if nylon’s infinite recyclability will allow for more readily available post-consumer options). Lastly, recycled nylon runs the risk of shedding microplastics into the environment – which is why we always recommend using a Guppyfriend Washing Bag on laundry day.

Our goal will always be to leave as little impact on the environment as possible while still delivering long-lasting quality, fit, and performance so you can wear your clothes for years to come.

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