Healthy Seas, a journey from waste to wear, is an initiative that Aquafil founded in 2013 with another business (Star Sock) and an NGO.
The purpose of the initiative is to clean the oceans and seas of marine litter such as derelict fishnets responsible for the needless death of marine animals.
FAO and UNEP estimate that there are 640,000 tons of fishing nets in the oceans. These fishing nets, often called ghost nets, remain adrift for a substantial amount of time (500 years) and are responsible for the accidental capture of whales, turtles, birds and other marine mammals. This problem only continues to get worse each year.
Healthy Seas applies a two-way approach to achieve its mission. First, recovering ghost fishing nets from our seas and second, preventing that waste fishing nets will end up in the marine ecosystem. These prevention actions are implemented with the help of fishermen communities and fish farms as well as with educational programs and events that raise awareness.
The fishing nets recovered in collection points from the sea bed by volunteer divers are sent to Aquafil’s Slovenian regeneration plant. Here, thanks to a unique recycling process, the fishing nets of Healthy Seas, together with other nylon waste material, are regenerated to make first quality nylon yarn called ECONYL®.
This 100% regenerated nylon yarn, coming from waste material, is then used for garments and carpet flooring.
Since 2013, Healthy Seas has recovered an increasing number of discarded fishing nets that were regenerated into the ECONYL® process and collaborated with many of its stakeholders:
Healthy Seas relies on the donation and support of many to achieve its mission and organize diving trips primarily in the Netherlands, Belgium, Croatia, Greece and Italy.
Do you want to come on board and help clean the seas? Join Healthy Seas and become a partner or donate your 1% for the planet to the initiative. Many brands have joined already, supporting the initiative and using the ECONYL® yarn to make more sustainable products that look good and feel good.
On September 22nd, 2019, Healthy Seas was presented with the award for Circular Economy at the 3rd Annual Green Carpet Fashion Awards that closed Milan Fashion Week at the historic Teatro Alla Scala.
Carlo Capasa and Livia Firth said,
“The Healthy Seas Initiative deserves to be celebrated for its selfless work to help clean up our oceans, through a dedicated team of volunteers. Importantly, we are championing the collaboration of non-profit and for-profit organizations, to help move us towards this essential goal. The Circular Economy is a topic of growing significance, and the need to preserve our environment through waste recovery and regeneration is pressing. By working with Aquafil, they are helping to close the loop on the urgent waste crisis that we are facing. We honor the fact that such a committed group of people is playing a part in this essential task.”