Some days ago we spotted some nice pictures of a swimsuit on Instagram and discovered that a senior student of North Carolina State University created the swimsuit by using our ECONYL® regenerated yarn woven into beautiful Carvico fabric. We interviewed her to discover what inspired her and what she sees for the future of sustainability in fashion. Here is the interview.

ECONYL® brand: Can you tell us a little bit about your story?

Heather Nixon: My name is Heather, and I am a senior at North Carolina State University (NC State), College of Textiles. I am in the Fashion and Textile Design program, with a concentration in Fashion Design. I have been sewing since I was 8 years old, and fashion has always been a passion of mine. Through my time at school my eyes have been opened to the amount of waste that occurs in the textile industry. So now I am extremely passionate about how to incorporate my two passions: sustainability and fashion.


E: How did you learn about ECONYL® yarn?

H: I wanted a sustainable theme for my last collection at NC State, and I also wanted to design swimwear. I didn’t think there was a way to incorporate both until I was researching and found Healthy Seas, which then directed me to the ECONYL® brand.


E: Why were you looking for sustainable ingredients?

H: I was fascinated that this yarn came from ocean waste, so it seemed to fit my two ideas really well. My entire collection incorporates aspects of sustainability and is focused on resort wear. The cover ups (like the one in the picture) are made from post-consumer clothing donated from friends and classmates, and the swimsuits are made with Carvico fabrics made with ECONYL® regenerated yarn.


E: What normally inspires you for your models, and what inspired you in this specific swimwear model?

H: My collection is inspired by the beauty found in nature, specifically the diverse components of marine life. I am drawn to the textures, colors, lines and layers you see in the ocean.


E: What are your plans in the future? What would you like to focus on?

H: I have a full time job lined up at Stitch, a luxury golf company. On the side I will be working on my own entrepreneurial venture, Refreshed. Refreshed offers female fashion accessories such as sandals, totes, jewelry, satchels, key chains, clutches and other garnishes. Each product is created from a gently used textile product.  Although similar products will be created, no two products will be identical due to the nature of upcycling.


E: What are the brands or designers that inspire you?

H: My absolute favorite designer is Zimmermann due to their use of color layers and textures. I find all of their clothing absolutely gorgeous and inspiring.


E: Why do you think sustainability is important in fashion, and what are the difficulties of applying sustainability to the fashion industry?

H: Sustainability is SO important in fashion, and considering that the textile industry is the 2nd in global waste and pollution, we need to be more conscious of how we design and what materials we use. 20% of freshwater pollution is caused by textile industry, and Americans throw away 70 pounds of textiles per year…that’s why sustainability in fashion is so important. The difficulty is how to incorporate sustainability so that both the industry and the consumer will benefit.


E: Where will the swimwear you created be showcased?

H: At FTD Emerging Designers Showcase on May 7th and hopefully in Redress Raleigh (if I am accepted to be a designer) and that is on August 18th.