Aquafil, the synthetic fabric manufacturer behind regenerated nylon fabric Econyl, has launched a consumer-facing e-commerce shop on its website.
The online marketplace stocks womenswear, menswear, swimwear and accessories from 15 brands who make products using Econyl. More brands are expected to join the site in the coming months.
The Italian company said it has created the store to respond to market trends of sustainability and online sales. “2020 was a very peculiar year but, because of it, we had time to slow down and think about what Aquafil’s future looks like. After a lot of brainstorming, we came to the idea that we needed to step out of our comfort zone and move forward in our supply chain to reach the end consumer. Hence, we came up with the idea to transform our site into a digital market, to give consumers the opportunity to find products made in Econyl offered by brands that share our values and our commitment to a better world. It is a long-term project which we strongly believe in but we are also aware that we have a lot to learn when navigating the B2C world,” a spokesperson said.
Econyl is made from recycled waste, including fishing nets, carpet and industrial plastics, and is regenerable an infinite number of times. It has become a popular new fabric in recent years as brands switch to more environmentally-friendly fabrics. It has been used by Burberry, Prada, Adidas and Speedo, though these brands are not currently available on the new shop.
Instead, it stocks mostly lesser-known names including State of Matter, a menswear brand launched last year by Japanese manufacturer Itochu, and Aisy, a sustainable dancewear brand founded in Spain in 2018. Prices range from €34 ($40) for a small, crossbody bag by British anti-theft travel accessory specialists Pacsafe to €445 ($528) for a backpack by Irish circular luxury label Aoife. Brands pay a fee to be listed in the Econyl shop and a commission on any sales generated through it.
Customers can also filter brands on the Econyl shop by additional values such as vegan, zero waste, ethical labour and size inclusive.
The brand has hired a catalogue specialist to work on the online shop and has also adjusted the current digital team’s roles to help manage it.
The website also includes a magazine which shares articles related to sustainability.
“Nowadays there is a lot of confusion, because sustainability has become ‘fashionable’ and so many brands are communicating on the subject. Consumers are flooded with misleading or confusing information, a lot of wishy-washy sustainability terms that don’t mean much and haven’t yet been clearly defined. Instead, our platform offers content that seeks to inform and educate on sustainability related topics,” the spokesperson said.