The Italian textile company Aquafil disclosed that it is supplying nylon recycled from reclaimed fish nets to Outerknown, a menswear apparel brand launched July 15 by 11-time World Champion surfer  Kelly Slater.

Outerknown, which launched July 15, was born out of Slater’s personal mission to create a clothing brand that seamlessly blends function and style, while establishing sustainable manufacturing processes across its supply chain. Aquafil is one of the world’s leading suppliers of synthetic fibers. Outerknown incorporates Aquafil’s Econyl brand – a sustainable nylon created from reclaimed fishing nets and other nylon waste materials – into the debut collection.

“Our partnership with Outerknown was born out of a shared vision and ambition for sustainable change,” said Giulio Bonazzi, CEO of Aquafil. “Outerknown came to us with the goal of manufacturing nylon products that were not only made entirely of regenerated materials, but that would be endlessly regenerative without any loss in quality. This goes beyond the typical use of recycled materials and puts Outerknown on the cutting edge of sustainable fashion.”

“Because of my passion for ocean conservation, Econyl is the ideal partner for us,” said Slater. “Not only are they re-writing the rule book for producing man-made fibers, but they are cleaning up the world’s oceans at the same time. Making products in this way is the very reason why I started Outerknown.”

Endlessly regenerable materials

Outerknown’s first collection launched on July 15, 2015 and features the Evolution Series jackets and boardshorts made with Econyl brand regenerated nylon yarns. Econyl offers the same quality and performance as traditionally manufactured nylon but with incredible environmental benefits. Econyl is made from reclaimed waste and can be recycled an infinite number of times without any loss in quality.

Econyl helps divert global waste streams from landfills and oceans through the recovery of abandoned fishing nets and other discarded nylon waste materials. The recovered nylon waste is processed through Aquafil’s Econyl Regeneration System and the resulting Econyl yarn is shipped to Outerknown’s global supply chain where it is converted into the first-grade nylon textiles used in Outerknown’s Evolution Series.

Outerknown will also be available at select premium retailers around the globe including Ron Herman, Mr. Porter and Selfridges.

Aquafil continues to find new and resourceful ways to recover post-consumer nylon waste by engaging in various impactful global environmental programs, such as the Healthy Seas Initiative and Net-works.

These programs aim to spread awareness of ocean conservation issues and protect marine life through recovery of abandoned fishing nets. According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), there are currently more than 640,000 tons of abandoned fishing nets in the oceans. These abandoned nets lead to the problem of “ghost fishing,” when derelict fishing nets remain adrift, capturing whales, turtles, birds and other marine animals.

Since 1969, Aquafil has been one of the leading players, both in Italy and globally, in the production of polyamide 6. The Aquafil Group has a presence in eight countries on three continents, employing more than 2,400 staff at 15 plants located in Italy, Germany, Scotland, Slovenia, Croatia, the USA, Thailand and China.

Founded by 11-time world champion surfer, Kelly Slater, Outerknown is a west coast menswear brand established from an understated approach to design and an overstated approach to quality, cloth, and consciousness. Acclaimed menswear designer and Outerknown creative director John Moore, has worked alongside Kelly to create contemporary menswear pieces imagined through a surfer’s lens. The concept aims to blend style, function and sustainability with the intent to protect our natural resources and inspire change within the men’s fashion and apparel industry, in a way that has never been done before.