For decades now, the tragedy of lost fishing nets has been known to environmentalists, scientists and fishers. These nets have the ability to continue fishing long after they have been lost, killing not only fish, but marine mammals, sea turtles and other types of marine life that become entangled in their webs.
Now Volcom is contributing a solution by sourcing a new yarn made from these fishing nets and other types of nylon. Called Econyl, this upcycled product will be used in the company’s Simply Solid Swim collection.
The introduction of Econyl is part of Volcom’s commitment to Strong Oceans, Stable Climate and Smart Society, a component of the firm’s sustainability initiatives. Volcom has developed a New Future roadmap to guide the firm in reaching sustainability targets, identifying where the company causes impacts and how to address them.
“Econyl fiber allowed us to create a collection with deeper meaning and purpose,” said Lindsey Roach, Head of Women’s Business in a statement. “We wanted this collection to be more than beautiful patterns and functional pieces, 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.”
" ,,, when our oceans are weak, we do not thrive as a species. Plus, we like surfing!" - Volcom website
Upcycling nets helps achieve sustainability goals
Upcycling the fishing nets and other nylons will help Volcom reach a key sustainability goal to “increase both the amount of recycled material in our polyester and nylon as well as the usage of organic, recycled and/or better* cotton in its products.” The firm says better cotton “might consist of organic, recycled, or other cotton sources with an improved environmental and social impact.”
Volcom claims Econyl fibers are durable, lightweight, breathable and environmentally friendly, making them ideal for the Simply Solid swimwear collection. The products in the collection will include board shorts, rash guards, halter tops, a tankini (a two-piece resembling a one-piece swimsuit), and a variety of mix-and-match bikini tops and bottoms.
Other elements of Volcom’s sustainability initiatives include:
The business benefits of sustainability are not lost on Volcom. The firm believes meeting its 2020 targets will help to lower its environmental profit and loss (E P&L) by focusing on raw material sourcing and processing. Volcom’s analysis concludes that 75 percent of the firm’s environmental impacts lie “deep within our supply chain.”
Sustainability has been a key part of the organization’s mission since 2012. Some of the accomplishments since then include:
Image courtesy Volcom
Carl Nettleton is an acclaimed writer, speaker, facilitator, and analyst. He heads Nettleton Strategies, an environmental policy firm specializing in oceans, all things water, energy, climate, and U.S. Mexico border issues. Carl also founded OpenOceans Global, an NGO linking people to the world's oceans. Carl also serves on the national and California advisory councils for Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), a national, nonpartisan group of business owners, investors and others who advocate for policies that are good for the economy and good for the environment. He is also active with the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Energy and Water Committee, the international Eye on Earth initiative, and other business and environmental organizations.