Volcom is getting caught up in a good thing. With a little assist from Aquafil, an Italian company that recycles waste materials into good-as-virgin fiber, the sportswear brand has launched an ocean-friendly line of swimwear composed of 78 percent Econyl, a recycled yarn derived from abandoned fishing nets and other bits of discarded nylon. “We wanted this collection to be more than beautiful patterns and functional pieces,” said Lindsey Roach, head of women’s business at Volcom, which is owned by the ethically minded Kering conglomerate. “So the fact that it is made with recovered fishing nets creates a natural connection to surf culture, which fully understands the value of keeping the ocean clean.”
Roughly 640,000 tons of abandoned fishing nets litter the world’s oceans, according to a 2009 United Nations report. Birds, seals, dolphins, turtles, and other marine animals are prone to entanglement in the webbing, which can cause them to starve or drown.
Besides diverting some of this litter, Econyl is also a prime example of the “circular economy”. Thanks to Aquafil’s pioneering regeneration system, the fiber can be recycled almost infinitely without any decline in quality.
Serving as ambassadors for Volcom’s “Simply Solid” collection are model Georgia May Jagger and professional surfers Coco Ho, Quincy Davis, and Maud Le Car.
“I know we are all accountable for our impact on the environment, but also our communities,” Jagger, who is a member of the ocean-conservancy group Project Zero, said in a statement. “To me, Volcom is a family and I love that I am now a part of it—it’s something special and I can’t wait to see what more is to come.”
Prices for the line range from $32 to $85.