Spanning five continents via land and sea, Prada’s ground-breaking new Re-Nylon sustainability initiative spearheads a cyclical, renewable supply chain, creating sustainable, regenerated ECONYL® nylon from discarded materials and products.
The complex processes and intriguing backstory behind this new Prada sustainability program are charted through a unique series of branded content short films, What We Carry, produced by National Geographic and featuring a roster of Prada reporters, global activists and National Geographic explorers.
In the second episode, we follow South Sudanese-Australian model and Prada reporter Adut Akech Bior and Joe Cutler, National Geographic Explorer and Freshwater Conservationist, as they travel to Lake Ossa in Cameroon, speaking with local experts and observing another facet of the Prada Re-Nylon transparent supply chain. The film soundtrack is built around a live vocal recording of the president of one of the local community banks in Lake Ossa.
One of the country’s largest lakes, with a surface area exceeding 4,000 hectares, Lake Ossa is natural habitat for a multitude of species and it represents 90% of the Reserve established in 1968. It also provides a vital livelihood for the surrounding communities. However, because of that, hundreds of used fishing nets have been discarded in its waters over decades, which clog ecosystems and can prove fatal to plants and wildlife.
To combat this, those communities now work with Net-Works, a project supported by the Zoological Society of London, to retrieve the nets from Lake Ossa. Over six tonnes of netting have been collected from the lake to date, to be re-sold, creating a valuable new revenue stream to benefit the local economy.
These nets together with other waste are then recycled, de-polymerized and transformed into new, ECONYL® regenerated nylon by textile yarn producer Aquafil, used to weave Prada’s regenerated nylon fabric and create the six styles of the new Prada Re-Nylon capsule bag collection.
Using ECONYL® Regenerated Nylon produced with multiple sources - entirely recycled, and able to be recycled again indefinitely - Prada Re-Nylon reflects the shifting sensibilities and concerns of a new generation, a new world. It emphasises the innate power of individual decisions to make a difference - that the things we carry really do matter.
Prada Re-Nylon reinvents the idea of timeless, as something that can truly last forever.
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. 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 product of a partnership between Prada and the textile yarn producer Aquafil, ECONYL® nylon is obtained through the recycling and purification process of plastic waste collected from oceans, fishing nets, and textile fibre waste. ECONYL® yarn, through a process of depolymerization and re-polymerisation, can be recycled indefinitely, with no loss of quality.
Underscoring the importance of awareness and responsibility, a percentage of proceeds from the sale of the Prada Re-Nylon capsule will be donated to a project related to environmental sustainability. Prada in partnership with UNESCO is developing educational activities that involve students from several countries to implement dedicated lesson plans using plastic and circular economy topics to inspire learners. The approach of the educational program is built around two axes - learning and take action – and one of the outcomes will be an awareness raising campaign designed by the students.