Table of Contents Recycling swim trunks went from experimentation to mainstream sustainability recently through some traditional methods of plastic reusability, and some newer methods through plastic-based fibres being reprocessed close to their original state. Most of us probably didn’t even realise that there was such a thing as recycled swim trunks right? We only use swim trunks during holidays or whenever we’re ready to jump into a pool. As the world opens up again, we’re going to get back out there and spend more time at our beach office than our home office. That doesn’t mean we can’t consider making our next swim trunk purchase from recycled goods. In fact, the way we usually treat this type of item may be a better idea. We have the mentality to sometimes just discard them, without looking at the bigger picture. Party Pack $160 Select options Ducks – Father and Son $70 Select options Santorini $60 Select options Tropical 2-Pack Swim ShortsRated 5.00 out of 5 $80 Select options Breaking down the material into pellets and melting them into the fabric The first method that is used is to take all those plastic bottles we use every day, sort them, clean them, and start chopping them into bits to make them into smaller and smaller pieces. Once they start looking like little pebbles, that’s where the next part of the process begins. Here these pebbles are heated and melted together to form a gel of sorts that is eventually processed and rolled out even further. This material is then the basis for making your new swim trunks, completely from recycled plastics and thus new polyester to use. How Econyl is made Discover the process behind the breakthrough material. 1. RESCUEECONYL® Regeneration System starts with rescuing from landfills and oceans all over the world. That waste is then sorted and cleaned to recover all of the nylon possible. 2. REGENERATEThrough a radical regeneration and purification process, the nylon waste is recycled right back to its original purity. That means ECONYL® regenerated nylon is exactly the same as virgin nylon. 3. REMAKEECONYL® regenerated nylon is processed into carpet yarn and textile yarn for the fashion and interior industries. 4. REIMAGINEFashion brands and carpet producers use ECONYL® regenerated nylon to create brand new products. And that nylon has the potential to be recycled infinitely, without ever losing its quality. The goal is that once all products containing ECONYL® are no longer useful to customers, they can go back into step one of the Regeneration System. THE RESULT?An infinitely recyclable nylon for the fashion and interior industries. ECONYL® regenerated nylon is a product that can help you close the loop. Made from waste, it’s infinitely recyclable and can unleash infinite possibilities for makers, creators and consumers. It’s all part of Röhnisch brand vision to make the world a better place by delivering sustainable products. www.econyl.com The polymerisation of the material to bring it back to its near-original state There’s a newer method, especially with nylon, which is a key component in some of the best bathing suits one can offer. Swim trunks that have both a blend of polyester and nylon, are one of the most vibrant and durable options out there. Combine those with a slew of colours, and there’s never more of a reason to be able to pick up more than one of these styles. Back to the science of it all. It’s called polymerisation, and what it does, is that it takes recycled nylon and other similar materials from everything that nylon makes, from ropes to fishing nets to standard boat equipment and processes it back to its near original component. In a sense, you’re reversing the process taken with crude oil that makes it into a fabric-like material, and bringing it back to its original state. This process is the most sustainable since you are able to re-use the same materials over and over again for those hot pairs of swim trunks Party Pack $160 Select options Ducks – Father and Son $70 Select options Santorini $60 Select options Tropical 2-Pack Swim ShortsRated 5.00 out of 5 $80 Select options Plastic Eating Bacteria This doesn’t help with the reduction per se or recycling of your swim trunks or other swimwear. What it does instead is help actually eliminate the waste that is produced from discarded swim trunks made of polyester and nylon. This is where a specialised polyester-like yarn is used that after five to ten years can decompose due to special bacteria that can consume it and thus remove it from the global waste equation. Since the average decomposition rate is up to 40 years and polyester type materials take around 500+ years (that’s right longer than plastic bottles due to their extra processing), having plastic-eating bacteria reduce these time frames exponentially is a good start to the battle. Does the quality remain the same? Swim trunks made from recycled, or reprocessed materials are actually some of the best examples of why their original material composition was such a good idea in the first place. Recycled polyester or nylon doesn’t mean weaker or lower quality. In fact, if you go ahead and join the sustainability movement, you’re actually able to buy sometimes swim shorts with a purer form of the material due to the processing of the materials when recycled. The only reason we don’t currently see it, but that will soon change, is the cost of processing new goods through recycled materials. As each year goes by, people will no longer ask how are recycled swim trunks made, because eventually, it will be possible for all swim trunks to be fully recycled and recyclable. Party Pack $160 Select options Ducks – Father and Son $70 Select options Santorini $60 Select options Tropical 2-Pack Swim ShortsRated 5.00 out of 5 $80 Select options What can I do to be more sustainable with my current swim trunks? If you’re looking to increase the lifetime of your swim trunks you need to properly manage them from the natural and synthetic elements out there. Swim trunks are being constantly bombarded by either salt water or chlorine water (which is another type of salt) that can start to affect the swim trunks you are wearing. You’re also probably out and about in the sun and the heat, which can affect the longevity of your swim trunks. Don’t forget to factor in the sand and other sediments that will come into contact with your swim trunks. All of this forms a recipe for ageing and destruction, so it is always important that you always wash your trunks after usage with normal water and dry them properly indoors preferably. When you are done with your swim trunks, they may still have a long life ahead of them, so don’t just through them in the bin. Try to consider putting your swim trunks and other polyester type materials together for donation. If they were properly maintained as mentioned above, then there should be no issue with passing them down. Major department stores are also begging for clothes to be recycled at their locations because they are also focused on joining the sustainability wagon and have factories and processing centres set up to turn your old swim trunks into the latest fashion. Of course, a major additional way is to become sustainable yourself and simply purchase recycled only swim trunks. You now have the knowledge of how these items are made, and there is no loss in their quality whatsoever. The Future of Recycled Swimwear Now that you know how recycled swim trunks are made, you can start to see, how this portion of the fashion industry, is going full speed ahead towards sustainability. Who knows what the future may hold. Maybe there will be a way for us to recycle our swim trunks ourselves. There is already some work being done utilising 3d printers to make fabrics, that could eventually trickle down to your latest pair of swim trunks. This on-demand mentality is one of the best ways to be sustainable, so only the right amount of clothing is made, of the highest possible mix of synthetic and natural fibres. Swimwear was always at the leading edge technology-wise in the fashion industry, due to the harsh conditions that they can go through, while at the same time becoming a staple recreational piece of clothing. How swim trunks are recycled is a fascinating new wave to add to the level of science behind these items. Coral $60 Select options Pineapple Palm Mint Swim Shorts $60 Select options Ducks – Father and Son $70 Select options Los Angeles Swim Shorts $60 Select options What material are swim trunks made of? Jonatan RosdahlI’ll write about anything and everything related to swimwear!