How can we make our products as useful and effective for as many women as possible without damaging the environment along the way? That's what we ask ourselves every day, and it's probably why you're here reading this. And it's how we discovered regenerated nylon too.

What is regenerated nylon?

Nylon is a type of plastic made from crude oil. It's put through an intensive chemical process to transform into the strong and stretchy fibres found in everything from underwear and tights to the bristles of our toothbrushes. Unfortunately, while it's a super versatile material, it's also a very thirsty process. The transformation requires large amounts of water and uses plenty of energy that contributes to environmental degradation and global warming.

Given so many nylon products already exist, our suppliers have tapped into a new way to recycle the material already available. Cue: regenerated nylon. As the name suggests, regenerated nylon is made through a process that brings pre-loved nylon products back to their original state. In other words, they’re taking the waste that's polluting the earth and transforming it into a new product.

While recycling materials quite often means the function and quality of the original textile are lost, regenerated nylon is different. It's as strong and versatile as brand-new nylon, with 100% of the same properties as the petroleum-based version. The only difference with regenerated nylon is that it can be recycled, recreated and remoulded - time and time again.

Pretty fancy, right? Wait until you hear the full breakdown.

We like to think of the nylon process as a circle. When we work with regenerative nylon suppliers, we’re doing our bit to close the loop. Unlike most materials made from petroleum, the nylon used by our partners comes from unwanted carpets destined for the tip, fishing nets from aquaculture, ghost nets, fabric scraps and other industrial waste.

Many of these products were initially designed to last, which makes extracting them from ecosystems no easy feat. But when they do get their hands on enough nylon materials, the next step is to undergo a radical regeneration process that strips away any unnecessary materials to leave behind a stack of regenerated nylon. This material is then processed in yarn and used in our products. 

It doesn’t stop there.

The beauty of regenerated nylon is that this process can be repeated on the same product, and it’ll still leave a soft and silky material every time. The exponential regeneration potential means businesses like us no longer need to rely on finite resources such as crude oil, and that’s doing a stack of great things for our environment.

For every 10,000 tons of regenerated nylon produced rather than standard nylon, we save 70,000 barrels of crude oil. By cutting crude oil out of the process, the material we use also prevents 65,000 tons of CO2 equivalent emissions from entering our atmosphere. Ultimately, opting for regenerated nylon means supporting a smarter production system and acting now for the future of our planet.

Sustainability is a core pillar of business at Wunderthings and one that we’re constantly reviewing, researching and reevaluating. Right now, every Wunderthings garment is made with regenerated nylon. But we don’t plan on stopping there. From the factory floor to the postage packaging, we’re always looking for new ways to do our bit. We're so glad you've joined us on this journey towards a more sustainable future, and we can't wait to have you along for the ride.

July 21, 2021 — Lucy Wright