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Recycled Nylon: Properties and How It Is Made

Recycled Nylon: Properties and How It Is Made

Nylon is everywhere, from swimsuits and workout gear to the interiors of cars. It's awesome because it's tough and water-resistant, making it a top pick for all kinds of fashion and consumer stuff. But, there's a little hitch with regular nylon - it's not the greenest choice, thanks to its ties to petroleum and the waste issues at the end of its life.

But here's the good news. The nylon game has leveled up with some cool innovations: sustainable nylon made from recycled nylon waste. It's like a magic swap because you get all the benefits of regular nylon but without the environmental hang-ups.

Let's get to know recycled nylon, its properties, and how it is made.

RELATED: Why Recycled Polyester Is a More Sustainable Choice

What is recycled nylon?

What is recycled nylon?

Recycled nylon is a superhero made from the leftovers of our everyday stuff. It comes from the waste of products we've already used and tossed away. It's like giving a second life to things that would otherwise end up in the trash.

On the other hand, virgin nylon fabric is born straight from chemicals found in petroleum, which, as you might know, isn't the cleanest source. Petroleum refineries can be pretty nasty, spewing out all sorts of carbon and toxic stuff into our air, water, and soil.

The process of making virgin nylon is a bit of an environmental troublemaker. It's even worse than cotton, a natural fabric, and polyester, nylon's synthetic sibling. Polyester is also made from petroleum, but its production isn't as harmful to the environment as nylon's.

When nylon is done being useful, it becomes a bit of a problem for Mother Earth. In landfills, it slowly breaks down, releasing toxic bits into the soil over decades.

But now, we have recycled nylon. Instead of letting old nylon items hang out in landfills, they can be broken down and reborn into new nylon. It's like giving nylon a makeover and a fresh start, making it way more eco-friendly than its original form.

How is recycled nylon made?

Let's dive into the fascinating process of crafting recycled nylon. First off, we collect a variety of nylon waste – anything from old fishing nets to bits of nylon from clothing manufacturing and even carpet fibers.

Next, we meticulously break down this waste into its essential chemical components. Once we've got that pure nylon goodness, it embarks on a journey akin to virgin nylon. We crank up the heat until it's all nice and melty, then we skillfully push it through a spinneret (think of it as a swanky showerhead). This process results in the creation of sleek, long, and thin fibers.

And there you have it – these fibers are expertly woven into a nylon thread, ready to make a statement and create some truly outstanding recycled nylon clothing. It's practically a superhero transformation for nylon, embracing a sustainable and stylish second act.

What is the difference between recycled nylon fabric and virgin nylon?

To get to know the difference between the two, we break it down into two factors:


While virgin nylon is like the OG, born straight from petroleum-derived stuff, recycled nylon is the eco-warrior, born from nylon waste that's already done the manufacturing hustle.

Virgin nylon isn't exactly the sustainability superstar. Not only does it come from a non-renewable source (petroleum), but most of the time, it also doesn't get a second shot at a useful life. Once it's done, it often ends up in a landfill.

In contrast, recycled nylon is our eco-hero. Because it's crafted from existing nylon waste, it's like a recycling champ that can theoretically keep going and going. A bit of recycled nylon can transform into different products throughout its lifetime.

Some companies are rocking the net zero or carbon-neutral vibe. They recycle nylon into new fabric without leaving a carbon footprint.

RELATED: A Guide to Eco-Friendly Fabrics for Your Activewear


Recycled nylon fabric is a bit pricier than the regular stuff. Why? Well, a bunch of reasons, but one biggie is that not everyone is jumping on the recycled nylon train just yet. It's like the cool kid at the party waiting for more invites.

But as more folks, especially the eco-conscious crowd, start craving sustainable fashion, and as companies duke it out for the best prices, we're probably going see the cost of recycled nylon take a dip. It's like a fashion revolution in the making, where being green doesn't have to cost a ton of green.

What are the characteristics of recycled nylon?

The recycled nylon fabric is just as good as its virgin counterpart. Here's why:

It's waterproof.

nylon fabric waterproof

Recycled nylon is like the superhero of staying dry. It's waterproof. The fibers in recycled nylon snuggle up tight together. To top it off, the fabric has a smooth texture.

Now, why does this matter? When water meets recycled nylon, it doesn't stand a chance. Instead of soaking in, it gracefully slides right off the material. Since nylon is essentially a type of plastic, it won't absorb water. So even if it gets a little wet or has a splashy encounter, it dries up in a jiffy.

This makes recycled nylon the go-to champ for outdoor gear like jackets, bags, and fleeces. It's like the ultimate water-resistant fabric, ready to keep you dry and stylish on all your adventures.

It's strong, durable, and lightweight.

Nylon is the preferred material when making bags because it's not just strong and durable. It's all thanks to those tightly woven fibers that stand up to whatever adventures you throw at it. It lasts and lasts without tearing or splitting.

Despite all that strength, recycled nylon is as light as a feather. Imagine having a bag that can handle heavy-duty tasks without weighing you down. Recycled nylon is your perfect companion for all your adventures.

It's elastic and easy to shape.

It's not just elastic like its virgin cousin, but it also bounces back into its original shape if you ever give it a little bend, pull, or bulge. But the real magic is that recycled nylon is a dream to shape. It hugs a mold like it was born for it, and with that elasticity on its side, it stays in that perfect shape throughout a lifetime.

Recycled Nylon Activewear for the Win!

Choosing recycled nylon over regular nylon is a no-brainer for so many good reasons because it's the same material, anyway. Sure, it might cost a smidge more, but think of it as a small investment in sustainability and putting an end to wasteful practices.

We're just a tiny fish in this vast ocean of efforts toward a greener world, especially when it comes to using recycled nylon in our activewear collections. But here's the thing – as more folks join the movement for sustainability and environmental protection, our little drops of effort can turn into big waves of change.

Dive into our Sustainable Line, where we're rocking recycled nylon and recycled polyester, making it super easy for you to be a part of the eco-friendly fashion vibe. Let's make a stylish splash while saving the planet, shall we?

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