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Aquafil wins 'best fibre' industry award

The Aquafil’s pride, ECONYL fibre is 50% made from post-consumer waste, and the company aims to take it even further.

23rd June 2014

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Cartersville, GA

Sustainable, Industrial, Medical/Hygiene, Clothing/​Footwear, Interiors

Aquafil USA, the producer of Nylon 6 fibres and polymers, has won the best fibre award at NeoCon 2014, a design exposition and conference for commercial interiors.

This is the first time the company took part in the event, where it was recognised for its ECONYL fibre, made from reused and improved waste polymers, found in fishing nets, carpets and clothing.

“We take the old materials and we break everything down. We pull out the raw material,” explained Abby Dayton, Aquafil Brand Communications Coordinator. “It’s not just a recycle. It’s an upcycle. So a lot of the time the quality is better than that of raw material. So it’s not just a recycle, but it’s an upcycle because it doesn’t lose any of its quality throughout the entire process.”

Polymer fibre production

The ECONYL fibre is made in one of Aquafil’s European plants. Located in Slovenia, the plant is solely dedicated to making the polymer fibre. Once the process is complete, the material is shipped to Aquafil USA.

According to the manufacturer, 50% of its ECONYL fibre is post-consumer waste and the company has a goal of hitting a 100% post-consumer waste mix by 2020.

Aquafil USA President and CEO Franco Rossi commented on receiving the recognition: “It was an honour to receive this award on behalf of the Aquafil Group. We pride ourselves on being innovative and sustainable while still producing high quality products. This just further proves the direction the industry is headed.”

Commitment and dedication

According to Abby Dayton, Aquafil’s emphasis on sustainable materials comes from corporate headquarters in Europe, with work on the energy and recycling aspect of the industry beginning worldwide in 2008.

“In 2011 it was just a matter of finding the right technology and finding the right investment and things like that,” she said. “We put four years of research and development and over EUR 20 million into this brand and into the product and the plants and kind of just making sure everything was right.”

The ECONYL fibre was introduced to market in 2011, and Franco Rossi credited both researchers and production teams for the material winning an industry award after three years on the market. “It shows our commitment to sustainability and is truly a testament to the talent we invest in.”

Future plans

Earlier this year Aquafil announced an expansion of its Cartersville facility, which is expected to roughly double the plant’s size and add up to 100 jobs. Winning the best fibre award served as another piece of welcome news, Rossi said.

“It’s been an exciting year for us so far. With the new plant expanding our production capacity, we will be able to meet the growing needs of our customers,” he said. “We have to remain committed to them and our core values as a company.”

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