Our ELK Swimwear collection was an exciting new range proudly made in Queensland by a specialist swimwear company. This was considered an exciting offering in our ongoing journey to source sustainable manufacturers and practices.
We sat down with Marnie Goding, ELK Co-founder and Creative Director, to learn more about this innovative offering in the ELK range.
The ELK Swimwear collection was made from post-consumer waste, what does this mean and where does it come from?
The material we used in our swimwear was made from waste and pre-used products that are at the end of their life cycle, such as fishing nets and fluff from carpet manufacturing, old carpets and rugs. The waste was collected from manufacturers, dumps and oceans all over the world, reducing the amount of waste in landfill and feeding it back into production cycles giving them a new life and use.
Tell us more about the final fabric, is it good quality and what are its properties?
It is an amazing fabric. The innovative process called the Regeneration System is based on sustainable chemistry which transforms waste Nylon back into a raw material without any loss of quality. The nylon is then woven with Xtra Life LYCRA® making the fabric more chlorine resistant and resists fabric breakdown more than five times longer than your average chlorine resistant swimwear. The fabric is designed to retain shape and has a UPF rating of 50+.
How does the Regeneration System work?
Waste is collected, sorted, cleaned and shredded. The shredded waste goes through a depolymerization process which has been radically re-invented to use less energy and water, creating less residual waste. The result is a very high ratio of nylon output compared to the waste input. Otherwise known as first-grade nylon.
From here, the waste goes through the polymerization process. This step is identical to polymerization of virgin fibres in nylon production where fabric molecules join together to create chains that then form the basis of the fabric.
The transformation to high-performance, quality garments starts at the beginning by designing products that are suitable for remanufacturing and finishes with the collection and regeneration of post-consumer waste. It is a process that forms a closed loop in the truest sense. This is a passion of mine and I look forward to sharing more exciting initiatives in the future as we continue our sustainable journey.
Why did you create an ELK Swimwear range?
After designing products that offered head to toe options for over a decade, we felt that now is the time to introduce swim into the mix. As an Australian based company, our love of the sun and surf is part of our DNA so it felt like a natural step.
Our ultimate goal was to create well-designed pieces made from recycled fabrics that FIT. We considered the design from the inside out, from back to front and with quality and durability a focus. Our ultimate wish is for everyone to feel beautiful, comfortable and confident.
To discover the ELK Swimwear collection, click here x