Aquafil partners with Parsons School of Design MFA Textiles program to Design for the Future with sustainable materials
Three students are recognized for their creative, sustainable designs featuring ECONYL® regeneration nylon
ARCO, ITALY, MAY 19, 2022 – Aquafil S.p.A. [ECNL IM] is investing in the future of sustainable design by recently partnering with the MFA Textiles program at the Parsons School of Design, one of the world’s leading art and design schools, for a project to create eco-friendly products out of ECONYL® nylon.
The MFA Textile students at Parsons were provided a variety of ECONYL® yarns and challenged to create innovative designs. There were no limitations on what final products the Parsons students could create. In February 2022, the students had the opportunity to present their designs to Aquafil executives, where three products were selected as winners of the ECONYL® x Aquafil: Designing for the Future Award.
“Our philosophy at Aquafil is to design with the end in mind, considering the complete life cycle of a product and finding ways to repurpose materials in order to reduce waste,” said Gaëlle Merlin, BCF yarns – Design & Development Manager at Aquafil Group. “We look to the future of sustainable design in today’s students. Parsons School of Design is known for artistry and innovation, while the MFA Textiles program is engaged with sustainability in design. This partnership was the perfect marriage between our values and goals for the future of the interior design industry. It was an honor to work with the Parsons program, and a thrill to see the imaginative talent of its students.”
The MFA Textiles students produced a variety of designs using ECONYL® nylon, including fashion items, natural dyed yarn, lighting fixtures, and art constructions, and woven upholstery. Most students were inspired by the origins of the ECONYL® fibers, incorporating vibrant colors and shapes found in nature in their designs.
“The partnership between Parsons and Aquafil provided my students an incredible opportunity to stretch their creativity and think about sustainability in a new light,” said Preethi Gopinath, Director – MFA Textiles & Associate Professor at Parsons. “My students are focused on creating change in the textiles industry through sustainable design practices, but most had not had experience using a circular material. They were amazed at the ECONYL® nylon’s durability, versatility, and high quality. Aquafil’s circularity has given the students hope for the future of design and has inspired the practices they will use in their careers beyond the classroom.”
Aquafil is proud to present the ECONYLⓇ x Aquafil: Designing for the Future Award to Xinyu Wang for her Zori-inspired sandals, Jason Greenberg for his production of 100% natural dyes, and Hannah Kim for her ocean-inspired LED lamp.
“My design was inspired by the circular nature and durability of ECONYL® nylon, leaning into the concept that nature both supports and relies on us” shared first prize winner, Xinyu Wang. “I created fully recyclable sandals using the Japanese hand weaving technique called Zuri, which uses only the body as tools so the maker gets a deeper connection with materials. I am so appreciative of this recognition by Aquafil and imagine that ECONYL® nylon will be the future of sustainable footwear.”
As winners of the Designing for the Future Award, Xinyu, Jason, and Hannah have been invited to display their designs in Aquafil’s showroom at theMART for NeoCon 2022 in Chicago, June 13 through 15.
Aquafil is a pioneer in the circular economy also thanks to the ECONYL® regeneration system, an innovative and sustainable process able to create new products from waste and give life to an endless cycle. The nylon waste is collected in locations all over the world and includes industrial waste but also products – such as fishing nets and rugs – that have reached the end of their useful life. Such waste is processed to obtain a raw material – caprolactam – with the same chemical and performance characteristics as those from fossil sources. The polymers produced from ECONYL® caprolactam are distributed to the Group’s production plants, where they are transformed into yarn for rugs, carpet flooring, and for clothing. Founded in 1965, Aquafil is one of the main producers of nylon in Italy and worldwide. The Group is present in seven countries and in three different continents, with over 2,800 employees at 19 production sites located in Italy, Slovenia, United States, China, Croatia, Scotland, Thailand and Japan. For more information, visit: www.aquafil.com or @Aquafil Group.
About ECONYL® Regenerated Nylon
ECONYL® is a brand of Aquafil. It is nylon made from recycled waste instead of oil and is also regenerable an infinite number of times without any compromise in quality. ECONYL® yarn helps divert global waste streams that would otherwise pollute the Earth such as fishnets, carpet and industrial plastic. Designers use ECONYL® to produce a wide range of textile products such as sportswear, swimwear, bags, eyewear and carpets. For more information, visit www.econyl.com or @ECONYL.
Jacqueline Chen Valencia