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Leon Kaye headshot

Napapijri Jackets Score a Huge Circular Certification Win

By Leon Kaye

It’s hard to believe we could even think about coats and jackets in the middle of summer, but sooner than we’ll realize, it’ll be time to break out the winter gear. Fashionistas who seek more sustainable alternatives to what’s currently out on the market may want to take a close look at new product lines from Napapijri.

Now part of VF Corporation’s family of brands, Napapijri, which was founded in Italy over 30 years ago, recently announced it scored a gold-level certification from Cradle to Cradle, one of the world’s leading standards for the manufacture and use of safer, circular, and more environmentally responsible raw materials.

Napapijri ventured into the recyclable textile market at first with its Skidoo Infinity jackets, which launched last fall. Once consumers buy these jackets, they can register them with Napapijri. After two years go by, if they no longer want the coat as part of their wardrobes, customers can return them to the company. Napapijri will then take the steps necessary to recycle the jackets and reprocess them into new raw materials and products.

According to the brand, the use of only one type of material within the jacket’s design and construction makes the recycling process far more seamless. One advantage of this approach is that the jackets’ fibers are less likely to degrade once they are churned into renewed materials. Napapijri researchers reportedly spent about three years perfecting the design and blend of fibers for these jackets.

“Napapijri sits within VF’s family of brands as an incubator of new ideas, processes and approaches to fashion-making,” said VF’s Anna Maria Rugarli in a public statement. “Its dedication to sustainable practices is reflected in the positive choices the brand has been making in the last few years – from developing an alternative to down and phasing out all animal fur, to pioneering a series of jackets designed, created and brought to market in keeping with the golden standards of circular economy.”

This fall, Napapijri plans to add three more items to its Circular Series: the Circular Anorak, Circular Rainforest and Circular Puffer. Each of them is manufactured with nylon made by the synthetic fiber manufacturer Aquafil, which brands the fibers under the Econyl name. Aquafil, which is based in Italy, derives these fibers from waste materials such as discarded fishing nets.

In addition to containing Econyl regenerated nylon, Napapijri’s jackets will be filled and trimmed with nylon 6. As with the jacket’s shell, once it is ready for recycling, the nylon 6-based insulation can enter a recycling machine, which allows the fibers to be upcycled without losing any of their original form or quality, so the fabric can be recycled again and again.

Napapijri says it’s on target to add more circular items in the coming fashion seasons.

Image credit: Napapijri/3BL Media

Leon Kaye headshot

Leon Kaye has written for 3p since 2010 and become executive editor in 2018. His previous work includes writing for the Guardian as well as other online and print publications. In addition, he's worked in sales executive roles within technology and financial research companies, as well as for a public relations firm, for which he consulted with one of the globe’s leading sustainability initiatives. Currently living in Central California, he’s traveled to 70-plus countries and has lived and worked in South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and Uruguay.

Leon’s an alum of Fresno State, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the University of Southern California's Marshall Business School. He enjoys traveling abroad as well as exploring California’s Central Coast and the Sierra Nevadas.

Read more stories by Leon Kaye