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Socks and underwear made from fishing nets

by DrPrem Jagyasi

We already know much about the three R’s – reduce, reuse and recycle; however, not often do we see these R’s practiced in reality. Recently, they were put into practical use. Read on to know how! In accordance with the motto, the European company trio Aquafil, ECNC Land & Sea Group and Star Sock have come up with Healthy Seas project.  The project owners plan to reprocess the marine litter, especially the nets, to weave out top quality raw material. The nylon 6 will be transformed into Aquafil Econyl yarn. This yarn will be stitched to form wearable.


Nylon is an artificial fiber known for its durability and strength. The fishermen use these nylon nets to serve their purpose of trapping fishes. FAO and UNEP have concluded through extensive research that six forty tons of nets, which add up to one-tenth of the global marine litter, is being wasted. Not only that, conserved animals, like dolphins and turtles, can choke and die being trapped in them as well. The reuse of the net nylon to produce socks, swimwear, underwear and carpets is, thus, a noble cause as well.

Aquafil has been out there since 1969 as polyamide-6 producers. Their 2011 initiative Econyl Regeneration System is aimed at producing Nylon-6 from waste products created out of Polyamide-6 after they are dumped. Their new Healthy seas will be a three-step process. The kickoff phase will concentrate on the North Sea, the Adriatic Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. The second part will be about raising awareness not to discard the nets, and submit them for recycling. The third step would be submitting the results to government, public and legislators so that constructive suggestions can be implemented for the long run.

Other companies and NGOs can also be a part of the process. The company Starsock has also tied up to help the trio accomplish their task. The pilot phase report will be available by April.