By Miro Korenha and Alexandra Patel
Fashion house Prada is transforming the material used to make its iconic nylon bags and accessories, which have been a brand staple since 1984, into something more sustainable. The company is partnering with Aquafil, an Italian textile producer, to produce sustainable nylon, Econyl. This material can be continuously recycled, is made out plastic waste from oceans and fishing nets as well as textile fiber waste.
Proud to be Prada: Prada intends to convert all of its virgin nylon into Econyl by 2021, and in the meantime has launched a new capsule collection, Re-Nylon, consisting of six classic Prada nylon bags made from the environmentally friendly material. As Lorenzo Bertelli, the Prada Group Head of Marketing and Communication, told CNN “This collection will allow us to make our contribution and create products without using new resources.” Prada’s transition to Econyl aligns with Prada’s recent decision to go fur-free, along with the sister line Miu Miu, and highlights the brand’s continued effort towards promoting a responsible business
Much Needed Move: Currently, the fashion industry is the second-largest polluter in the world. From the toxic waste of textile factories that get dumped into rivers to the millions of microfibers released into our oceans due to synthetic garments, the environmental impact of what we wear is staggering. Synthetic fibers like nylon are plastic fibers can take up to 200 years to decompose and yet still are used in 72 percent of all manufactured clothing.
Why This Matters: While Prada as a brand may not be accessible to many consumers, it’s a major player in the fashion industry and can influence other fashion houses and retail brands to follow suit and address the nylon pollution problem. As you might recall Miranda Priestly explaining to us, big fashion houses set the tone for the materials and styles that will become widely sold. Prada is about as big as it gets and hopefully, can make an impact on the future of textile manufacturing.