Performance gear-producing Patagonia, known for their forays into sustainable clothing produced with environmental ethics in mind, has produced the first recyclable-nylon shell and pants for technical outdoor wear. The company has produced recyclable nylon gear before, in the form of pants and shorts, but these are the first shells produced in the industry that can be recycled. Patagonia will provide recycling for their Shelter Stone products through their already-active Common Threads recycling program
Why is this important? Nylon is the last of four fabrics (polyester, cotton, wool, and nylon) that Patagona has focused on sourcing more sustainably since 1992. They’ve had success with organics, alternative fibers and recycled content, and nylon was the final frontier, perhaps the most difficult, to produce in a way that created less of an environmental impact. Not only are they producing recyclable content clothing, they’re providing the means to recycle them through Common Threads, which is already accepting the aforementioned pants and shorts for recycling. When this grows, recycled-content nylon will become available. Toray, the textile manufacturer working with Patagonia, claims that creating new garments from recycled nylon will save 70% of energy costs for garment production.
This is just one more step in the right direction for Patagonia. The company ranks second overall and first in clothing manufacturers, in the Better World Shopping Guide. Their outreach includes participation in 1% for the Planet, Organic Exchange, and The Conservation Alliance, as well as awarding internships and grants to individuals and groups working towards sustainability.
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