Stories of Innovation: An Interview with Giulio Bonazzi

Often, discussions about Made in Italy concern quality, luxury, and craftsmanship. However, environmental consciousness can be embedded in these three aspects, and ECONYL® brand stands out.

Key takeaways:

  • According to Aquafil’s CEO, the ECONYL® brand can be described as infinite, circular, and inspiring.
  • He explains how ECONYL® nylon is made and how it reflects the main hallmarks of Made in Italy.
  • He tells us about his hope for the future: a world in which both luxury brands and fast fashion companies employ materials that can be easily repurposed.


Have you ever wondered what fashion revolutionaries look like?

Allow me to introduce one standing before us right now. He’s wearing a smart suit, has a smile lighting up his face, and is very much looking forward to answering the questions we’ve got for him.

His name is Giulio Bonazzi, CEO of Aquafil Group and the visionary behind ECONYL® – a leading brand in the Italian textile fashion industry, featured in Fortune’s “Change the World” list for undertaking today’s social challenges in its core business. [1]

And as if that weren’t enough, Forbes Italia has honoured our guest as a top CEO, celebrated for his innovation, international competitiveness, and dedication to fostering excellent work environments. [2]
So, without further ado, let’s give him the floor.


Hello Mr. Bonazzi, could you explain to our readers what ECONYL® is, and what makes it stand out? Can you sum it up in just three words or adjectives? 

ECONYL® is regenerated nylon made entirely from waste. What makes it stand out is the revolutionary process that transforms nylon waste back into its original building blocks while maintaining its quality and performance. This makes ECONYL® nylon infinitely recyclable, allowing architects and designers to create new products without having to use new resources. That being said, I believe that the three words that best describe the ECONYL® brand are: infinite, circular, and inspiring.  


How exactly is ECONYL® made? How does the Regeneration System work?

ECONYL® is made entirely from pre- and post-consumer nylon waste, such as old carpets, plastic components, fishing nets, and fabric scraps. This material is collected globally and shipped to our regeneration plant in Ljubljana. An advanced recycling process then transforms the nylon waste back into brand-new nylon, preserving all the qualities of new nylon without the environmental impact of its oil-based counterpart. Following this, ECONYL® regenerated nylon is extruded in filaments or processed into polymers for limitless applications.

Italy is renowned for its exceptional design and manufacturing in fashion. How does the idea of “Made in Italy” integrate with ECONYL® nylon? 

Although ECONYL® nylon is globally recognized and used by 1.700 fashion and interior brands, it has Italian roots. Aquafil, the creator of ECONYL®, was founded in 1965 in Trentino Alto Adige as a family business. The company embodies values that align with the “Made in Italy” brand: quality, attention to detail, entrepreneurship, and craftsmanship.
I often say that I see treasure where others see waste.
With this vision in mind, combined with our values and my desire to revolutionize the world of synthetic fibers, ECONYL® nylon was born after many years of research and investments. Even when faced with the most difficult challenges, our unwavering commitment to this vision has led to the success that ECONYL® has today.


Can you share any specific success stories or case studies where ECONYL® nylon has made a significant impact?

Every product made with ECONYL® nylon represents a step towards sustainability. Our mission is to provide a circular ingredient that helps reduce plastic pollution and preserve our planet’s resources. We are committed to partnering with brands that create long-lasting, easily recyclable products. Sustainability is a journey we embark on together.
One remarkable example is the Circular Series Collection by Napapijri, made from a single ingredient: nylon. These garments were born in 2019 when Aquafil and Napapijri joined forces to create a completely circular product, designed to be easily recyclable at the end of its lifecycle.  The Circular Series Collection aims to reduce the textile waste problem we face nowadays. Thanks to a take-back program, these garments can be returned after at least two years of use and recycled into new ECONYL® yarn for future creations.


Looking forward, who do you dream of working with or what cool projects are on your wishlist?

I envision a future where everyone, from luxury brands to fast fashion, has smarter and more affordable sustainable choices. One of the most exciting projects on my wishlist is finding an alternative to elastic fiber – the material that the market adds to nylon to provide elasticity. Mixed fibers create significant challenges in the recycling process, making it nearly impossible to repurpose these materials.
Imagine a world where any garment or carpet can be easily dismantled, and each component can be repurposed. This is how nature works, and it’s the future we strive for.

If our guest’s words have piqued your curiosity, here you can explore a range of products made with ECONYL® regenerated nylon and discover the potential of repurposed materials in fashion and design.


A sneak peek to our next article
After extending our heartfelt gratitude to Giulio Bonazzi for the inspirational interview and looking forward to the future he has envisioned, we invite you to stay tuned for our next article, where we delve deeper into the topic of inclusivity.