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:
Healthy Seas is a non-profit initiative that 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 join this journey from waste to wear and help clean the seas? Join us and become a partner or donate your 1% for the planet to the initiative. Many brands are joining already, supporting the initiative and using the ECONYL® yarn to make more sustainable products that look good and feel good.
We are very proud that the Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Mr. Karmenu Vella, agreed to become an official Healthy Seas ambassador. In his video statement, he underlines his active support for the work Healthy Seas does.
The European Commission considers marine litter a serious problem and therefore sees action leading toward a circular economy as the way forward. That is why Commissioner Vella says he is, “happy to support initiatives like Healthy Seas, which is already leading the way to a more circular economy. It is a valuable step in the right direction to a healthier marine environment and a more intelligent economy. Congratulations and keep up the good work!”