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Prada’s Iconic Nylon Gets a Sustainable Makeover

Prada’s signature nylon is getting a sustainable facelift. By the end of 2021, the luxury brand’s iconic nylon bags and sporty outerwear will all be made from a new blend of earth-friendly materials.

The new line, dubbed Re-Nylon, launched with six new bag silhouettes for women and men, all made from a new blend of regenerated nylon called Reconyl. The brand developed the material in collaboration with Aquafil, a sustainable textile group.

Made from recycled ocean plastics and textile waste, Reconyl yarns can be recycled indefinitely, without quality loss, “through a process of de-polymerization and re-polymerization,” according to Prada’s website.

The site also features a video, co-produced by National Geographic, which offers a look inside Aquafil’s carpet recycling facility in Arizona. The operation is the first of its kind, the video claims, and is capable of recycling 16,000 metric tons of carpet each year. The deconstructed carpets are separated into polypropylene and nylon fibers, which are used in Prada’s Re-Nylon bags.

A portion of the Re-Nylon line’s proceeds will benefit Prada’s partnership with UNESCO, particularly a program that supports childhood education about environmentalism, sustainability and circularity.

“Re-Nylon is a bold move towards total sustainability—towards an ultimate goal of converting all Prada virgin nylon into regenerated nylon Econyl by the end of 2021,” the brand said in a statement on its website. “It reflects the focus of the Prada Group on promoting a corporate culture that aspires to increasingly sustainable balances, incorporating into its daily work the idea of a return of value to society.”

The idea of recycling ocean plastics and textile waste has gained traction in recent seasons, likely spurred by Adidas’ massively successful Parley for the Oceans partnership. What began with a run of about 7,000 pairs in 2015 has now exploded into one of the company’s most successful franchises to date. Now, the brand has committed to ridding its supply chain of virgin plastics—and using only recycled polyesters—by 2024.