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This Nylon Jacket Is Made Entirely from Recycled Textile Waste

BASF and fast fashion retailer Inditex achieve a breakthrough in textile-to-textile recycling.

Geoff Giordano

January 23, 2024

1 Min Read
jacket created solely from BASF's circular loopamid
Image courtesy of BASF

At a Glance

  • Every part of the jacket, from the fabric to the buttons and zipper, is made BASF’s loopamid PA6
  • Material exhibits same characteristics as virgin polyamide and can be recycled multiple times
  • BASF is scaling up loopamid technology to produce commercial quantities

BASF and global fashion retailer Inditex have engineered a real rags-to-riches circularity story — a jacket composed entirely of a nylon 6 created from 100% textile waste.

Every component of the jacket, made by Inditex brand Zara and available worldwide, is created solely from loopamid, BASF’s new polyamide 6. Using a "design for recycling" approach, the fabric, buttons, filling, hook and loop, and zipper are made from loopamid.

Generated from post-industrial and post-consumer waste, loopamid exhibits the same characteristics as virgin polyamide and can be recycled multiple times. It is compatible with all fabric mixtures, like PA6 and elastane, allowing textile-to-textile recycling. 

"BASF has reached an important milestone toward circularity in the fashion industry and pioneered an approach to close the loop for nylon textiles," said Dr. Ramkumar Dhruva, president of BASF’s monomers division. "Our loopamid has the potential to revolutionize the PA6 market for the better. We are in the process of scaling up our technology to serve our customers with commercial quantities. The capsule jacket together with Inditex is the proof that circularity is possible, and we are eager to further drive the sustainable transformation of the textile industry."

Inditex sought multiple fashion industry partners to ensure loopamid’s use throughout the mono-material garment:

  • ModaRe, a collection program that classified, sorted, and provided discarded textiles as feedstock;

  • RadiciGroup, which transformed loopamid into yarns with varying characteristics;

  • YKK and Velcro companies, which used loopamid for buttons, zippers, and hook-and-loop fasteners;

  • Tessitura Vignetta, Freudenberg, and Gütermann, which developed inner labels, filling, and threads.

The chemical recycling process used to create loopamid breaks down pre-used textiles into caprolactam, a monomer liquid. The liquid is purified and polymerized into polyamide 6 resin that is spun into new fibers or materials.

About the Author(s)

Geoff Giordano

Geoff Giordano is a tech journalist with more than 30 years’ experience in all facets of publishing. He has reported extensively on the gamut of plastics manufacturing technologies and issues, including 3D printing materials and methods; injection, blow, micro and rotomolding; additives, colorants and nanomodifiers; blown and cast films; packaging; thermoforming; tooling; ancillary equipment; and the circular economy. Contact him at [email protected].

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