Recycled swimwear fabrics: Get to know our resources!

Recycled swimwear fabrics: Get to know our resources!
25/07/2021 Laura
Lilja the Label blog: Recycled swimwear fabrics
In Information

Recycled swimwear fabrics: Get to know our resources!

In this blog post we’ll go through the different recycled swimwear fabrics we use in both our swimwear and activewear production. We have also talked about this in our ABOUT US and SUSTAINABILITY pages, but in this article we’ll go through them in-depth with information collected from the fabric manufacturers websites.

We are aware of the environmental impact of the clothing industry and are aiming to be as environmentally conscious and transparent as possible. For utmost clarity and transparency, you can find the breakdown of each fabric used to manufacture a certain Lilja the Label product on the product page. We are striving for complete transparency and are happy to answer any questions you may have.


ECONYL® – a recycled fabric made from blend of recycled nylon and elastane, perfect for both swimwear and activewear

Lilja the Label blog: Recycled swimwear fabrics

ECONYL® may be the first recycled swimwear and activewear fabric that comes to mind, and for a great reason! ECONYL® is made by an Italian company called Aquafil and the fabric consists of 78% recycled nylon (ECONYL) and 22% elastane coming in different thicknesses suitable for both swimwear and activewear. ECONYL® is a regenerated nylon yarn that has been made utilising post-consumer and pre-consumer plastic waste collected from our oceans. These plastics include for example old plastic bottles and discarded fishing nets. For each 10 000 tons of the raw material collected, they are able to save 70 000 barrels of crude oil and 65 100 tonnes of CO2 emissions from entering our atmosphere. Aquafil divides the production prcocess in four steps (Source: ECONYL® brochure):

  1. Rescue 

    The ECONYL® Regeneration System starts with rescuing waste, otherwise polluting the Earth, all over the world. That waste is then sorted and cleaned to recover all of the nylon possible.

  2. Regenerate

    Through a radical regeneration and purification process, the nylon waste is recycled right back to its original purity. That means ECONYL® regenerated nylon is exactly the same as virgin nylon.

  3. Remake

    ECONYL® regenerated nylon is processed into carpet yarn and textile yarn for the fashion and interior industries.

  4. Reimagine

    Fashion brands and carpet producers use ECONYL® regenerated nylon to create brand new products. And that nylon has the potential to be recycled infinitely, without ever losing its quality. The goal is that once all products containing ECONYL® are no longer useful to customers, they can go back into step one of the Regeneration System.

We use different variations of the ECONYL® fabric in our entire SS21 swimwear collection alongside many of our other favourite designs from seasons before. Each product page in our online store has the origin and material information for each separate product. All ECONYL® fabrics we use have the OEKO-TEX® 100-standard ensuring they have been tested for harmful substances and are safe to be used and worn.

If you’d like to read more about this sustainable fabric, you can read more of the fabric on the fabric manufacturer’s website (click for link).


REPREVE® – a perfectly versatile recycled fabric we love to use for printing

Lilja the Label blog: Recycled swimwear fabrics

REPREVE® is the world’s leading recycled fiber made from recycled plastic bottles regenerated into a high quality nylon yarn. As billions of plastic bottles worldwide end up on landfills, REPREVE® is combatting an enormous problem and giving these valuable resources a new life. The company behind REPREVE®, Unifi, has already recycled more than 25 billion plastic bottles and rescued them from ending up on landfills and turning into a waste. At the same time, they have avoided 646 million kgs of CO2 emissions from entering into our atmosphere. Compared to making what’s called virgin fiber, making REPREVE® offsets using new petroleum, emitting fewer greenhouse gases and conserving water and energy in the process.

We use REPREVE® as our print fabric due to the great qualities this fabric has for printing: it’s high-quality and keeps it’s shape and colour well yet being super soft and stretchy for the best fit. Our amazing factory prints our pattern designs into a solid white version of this fabric to gain the best print quality and contrast and we couldn’t be happier! We have also used REPREVE®’s ribbed variation in some of the designs – our gorgeous mint green Mint and lilac Aamu are made from REPREVE®’s solid-coloured ribbed fabric.

The process of manufacturing this fabric is listed in five different steps (Source: Unifi: How REPREVE® is made):

  1. Source Recycled Waste: Recycled plastic bottles and post-industrial waste (including their own) are collected worldwide.
  2. Make the Chip: Waste material is chopped, ground, washed, melted and reformulated into high-quality REPREVE chip.
  3. Form the Fiber: Chip is melted into liquid polymer and extruded through tiny openings in a spinneret, creating continuous filaments that form REPREVE fiber.
  4. Process the Yarn: Fiber becomes yarn through spinning and air-jet texturing.
  5. Ship to Customers: Finished yarn goes into fabrics, making everyday products more sustainable.

You can read more of the fabric on the fabric manufacturer’s website (click for link).

We’re combining the two together in our collections!

Out of these two recycled swimwear fabrics we use, we can’t really choose a favourite, but we couldn’t manage without either one of them! They complement each other so well while we have found ECONYL perfect for the solid colours due to their extensive and frequently updated colour charts, and REPREVE perfect for printing due to the amazing qualities this fabric has. We are also constantly researching new solutions to be sure we always have the fabrics most suitable for us, our values and our production process.