Episode 2/3 of Sustainability@work

The thread that weaves it all together

This is only important if you care about changing your industry

Welcome to episode 3 of season number two of Sustainability@Work, a traces&dreams podcast, hosted by Samara Croci.

Sustainability@Work’s guest this week is Giulio Bonazzi. Giulio Bonazzi is the President and CEO of a company named Aquafil. Headquartered in Italy but with companies all around the world, it is the producer of a material called ECONYL®. This is the nylon that comes 100% from waste material instead of oil. It is used in the fashion industry to produce many kinds of sportswear, swimwear, and accessories. In the design world, it’s used for injection molding for furniture and for carpets.

Because I have worked at Aquafil for 10 years and the ECONYL® brand is already well known in the textile industry, I decided to dig deeper and tell another story. While it might not be obvious to the casual reader or user of this material, Aquafil in the more than 10 years since the launch of ECONYL® has built an incredibly powerful and virtuous network of partnerships and collaborations. Even within the restricted sector of ingredients producers, I have never seen a company like this before.
These are some of the collaborations we mention in the interview, and almost all are designed to scale sustainability and revolutionize the industries where Aquafil is involved.
Collaborations with customers: Gucci, Stella McCartney, Prada, Jaguar, Interface, Desso, Ege, Napapijri (VF Group), Patagonia….
Collaborations to build products that are circular by design (in carpet and in fashion).
Collaborations to recover the waste that it’s used to produce ECONYL® fishing nets (with Healthy Seas, check out the episode about this https://youtu.be/45-YvFWhW4U), old carpets, and take-back systems of their own products with their customers.
Collaborations to develop new applications.
Collaborations to now develop a bio-nylon with the Effective project.
Collaborations even for sharing the excess heat energy from their production with nearby facilities of other companies and even a water park.

Many people thought Giulio Bonazzi was crazy, but he managed to not only expand his family business into the future but also improved the supply chain and the products he touched, one sustainable partnership at a time. And it all began with a yarn!

Here are some details about our guest:

Giulio Bonazzi, CEO and President of Aquafil (Producer of the ECONYL® Brand)
Giulio Bonazzi has dedicated his career to evolving Aquafil S.p.A. into a leading player in the global carpet and textile materials industry. An innovator and disruptor, he is transforming his family’s manufacturing business into a sustainable global enterprise. To achieve this vision, Bonazzi challenged the organization to develop a recycled nylon material by turning nylon trash into high-quality, beautiful fibers.
Where others see waste, Bonazzi saw an opportunity.

Aquafil launched ECONYL® regenerated nylon in 2011 and today it is one of the most sought-after materials in the world for fashion designers and carpet manufacturers.
Today, Aquafil is recognized as a sustainability leader, a stalwart example of the circular economy and an innovator within the synthetic textile industry.


#futureofbusiness #sustainability

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