Sparknews | report

colours, 11 of which are two-tone and two are space-dyed. Another is Flow and Glow, in which the loop quality in its three-dimensional sisal creates a rhythmic eff ect intended to show its sophistication in detail. It describes the material as “grainy and fabric-like”. It is a part of a trend which has permeated all areas of modern life.

Mercedes-Benz recently presented its new S-class model with fl oor mats made with Econyl-regenerated nylon, a car they claim can be experienced with all the senses – seeing, feeling, hearing and smelling. As well as nets, much of the material used had been destined for the landfi ll, such as and fabric remnants from carpet mills, all of which were collected and transformed into a new thread having the same properties as nylon from new raw materials.

GREEN ROADS AND GREENER CARPETS None of this should come as any surprise. Car makers have long been under pressure to increase their green credentials and critics would say, not before time, bearing in mind that a third of carbon dioxide emissions come from the transport sector. But these days attention scrutiny goes way beyond exhaust emissions, with the focus now on the eff ects of production processes, from the power used by factories to ensuring parts and materials have been ethically sourced. So it’ll come as no surprise to learn that leather has begun to take second place to recycled waste. And at the Green Carpet Awards in Milan, the Italian actress Matilda De Angelis was pictured wearing a mid-length cocktail dress, Prada Re-Nylon, and ankle boots completely made from Aquafi l’s Econyl. The importance of re-using fi shing nets can’t be understated. One

estimate suggested that around 640,000 tons of them are lost or discarded in our oceans, killing an already struggling marine life through what’s been called “ghost fi shing”. That refers to all the abandoned nets, lines and traps continuing to catch everything from dolphins

FACT Mercedes’ new S-Class model has

floor mats produced from a nylon made from abandoned fishing nets

and sharks, to turtles, all of which get entangled, attracting more fi sh which also get trapped, creating a vicious - and avoidable - cycle. This is very much a modern-day problem. In the past, ghost nets did not pose the same cumulative threat, because nets were made of natural materials which would degrade over time. Modern nylon nets can potentially last for centuries.

Not only does the existence of

Econyl help to remove all these abandoned nets, it is also much kinder on the environment than traditional non-biodegradable nylon yarn production which requires a large amount of fossil fuel-based raw material and a lot of water. The Ellen McArthur Foundation has credited the UK fl ooring company Desso for their ambitious “Cradle

to Cradle” strategy, for

example, with a corn by-product to produce a bio-degradable base for their woollen ranges. Similarly, many other designers

and materials experts have also experimented within the biosphere, for example, taking yarn from bamboo, noting that once the carpet is worn, it can be safely returned to the food-farming system. Stef Kranendijk who was Desso’s CEO until 2012, summed up the philosophy when he said: “The idea is to become a service industry, relying on a leasing system: then you don’t buy the product, you only pay for its use, which means materials remain our responsibility and of course it’s not our interest to see them wasted at the end. Everybody wins.” They



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