Free membership

Receive our weekly Newsletter
and set tailored daily news alerts.


Artisanal approach to difficult waste

Fashioning used industrial nylon fabrics into new streetwear in Japan.

6th January 2022

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Japan

Clothing/​Footwear, Sustainable

Japanese designer Hideyuki Hayashi is turning unwanted nylon and polyester fabrics from hot air balloons, unexploded airbags and excess seat belts into recycled streetwear for the new brand WAySTEaD.

Using skilled Japanese textile artisans, the brand’s official Kickstarter campaign launches on January 14th 2022.

“The global production of nylons used in hot air balloons, seat belts and emergency airbags releases the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide into the atmosphere,” says Hayashi. “Meanwhile, the disposal of existing nylon fabrics in landfills means waiting 30-40 years for full decomposition, while incineration releases carbon monoxide, ammonia, hydrogen cyanide and more into the atmosphere. Simply put, producing more nylon and ineffectively disposing of the existing nylon is contributing to global warming.”


Industrial nylon fabrics used for these applications are notoriously difficult to upcycle, he adds – airbags are stiff, seatbelts are difficult to sew through and hot air balloon nylon can become badly stained throughout its life.

“For all of these reasons, most fashion designers reject the challenges and limitations of such upcycled materials,” Hayashi says, “but rather than run away from the challenge, we at WAySTEaD have used careful design and expert artisan outfitters to create an exciting range of new streetwear pieces.”

The Airbag Jacket, for example, transforms unused airbags into oversize button blouson jackets with a retro-futuristic vibe. Embracing the return of 90s logo-mania and the boxy Y2K silhouette, the statement piece is durable and unique.


The Hot Air Balloon Coat is meanwhile made from the coated nylon envelope material of a modern hot air balloon. After an intensive cleaning process, the complex task of pattern cutting and sewing begins.

Each final drawstring jacket features a patchwork motif colour matched to the print-resistant base material. Available in black, yellow, white and racing green, the jackets are lined with recycled polyester mesh.

The Seatbelt Racing Jacket, based on unused seat belts destined for landfill, was inspired by 80s burger chains, American varsity jackets and the classic racing jackets of the 1960s.


Reshaped and exaggerated, the new silhouette takes advantage of the stiff nylon seat belts for the torso, using a red, black or yellow recycled polyester upper yoke that joins the matching coloured oversize drop sleeves.

WAySTEaD is also using recycled PET polyester in its Plastic Bottle T-shirts, which fully embrace the retro logo-mania and the oversize silhouette of the 90s grunge era in 12 designs featuring everything from full-size images to single line captions in four bold colours.

Deliveries are anticipated between four and eight weeks after the close of the Kickstarter campaign.

Latest Reports

Business intelligence for the fibre, textiles and apparel industries: technologies, innovations, markets, investments, trade policy, sourcing, strategy...

Find out more