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Hyosung + Hung Yen Create High

Jun 07, 2023

As the fashion industry prioritizes environmental action, there are countless causes and issues to address, but one pressing concern is lurking in our oceans. Each year, 640,000 tons of used fishing nets are abandoned in the ocean, either by accident or deliberately, according to the Greenpeace report “Ghost Gear: The Abandoned Fishing Nets Haunting Our Oceans.” Although nets are just a portion of the 12 million tons of plastic pollution added to oceans annually, fishing gear is particularly dangerous to marine life.

Since 2007, leading global fiber manufacturer Hyosung has been tackling this waste issue by chemically recycling discarded fishing nets to make regen ocean nylon. Now, together with Vietnam-based fabric manufacturer Hung Yen Knitting and Dyeing, they’ve launched N850 FishTale, a new sustainable and performance swimwear fabric with 100 percent recycled regen ocean nylon and 100 percent recycled creora® regen elastane.

“Many brands have unique sustainability platforms, one of which is the protection of our oceans and marine wildlife. Because of their deep connection to the ocean, swimwear brands are one of those,” said Simon Whitmarsh-Knight, Hyosung global marketing director, textiles. “As regen ocean is made with discarded fishing nets, it is the perfect solution that not only offers high performance but also helps clean up our oceans and allows brands to build a fully certified story with their consumers.”

Hung Yen, part of Italian textile group Carvico, specializes in swimwear, which accounts for about 90 percent of its business. The manufacturer was an early adopter of recycled raw materials and began research and development in this area in 2016. Hung Yen and Hyosung’s long-term partnership began when Hung Yen started manufacturing in Vietnam, and today creora® spandex is incorporated throughout its collections.

“We consider our close collaboration and long-term commitment with Hyosung an essential factor in the journey to keep our research and development targets and standards always at a high and advanced level, tackling the market demand, which in the last three years has witnessed increasing call for sustainable solutions from major international brands, positioning Hung Yen’s name on the market at an already advanced level of competitiveness,” said Claudia Anselmi, general director, Hung Yen Knitting and Dyeing.

Hung Yen considered GRS-certified regen ocean to be one of these “can’t-miss” opportunities due to its environmental profile and functional qualities. Not only is regen ocean tackling waste, but a third-party LCA demonstrates that compared to conventional nylon it offers a 73 percent CO2 emissions reduction, a 76 percent lower use of fossil fuel resources and 98 percent less water consumption.

Hyosung’s regen fibers are made in the same directly operated factories as its other materials, ensuring that the recycled offerings meet equivalent standards to virgin options. “Our recycled nylon and spandex fibers have the same technical properties as virgin equivalents, providing a ‘drop-in’ solution for mills and delivering the lasting performance required by consumers,” said Whitmarsh-Knight.

The FishTale performance swimwear fabric has a soft hand feel and a smooth surface that helps brighter colors pop and can be block color dyed or digitally printed to fit current trends. “Today, we witness a progressive thinking in the style gap between fashion swimwear and performance swimwear. There is a strong demand for more glamorous and stylish choices from athletes, teams, and consumers, from new trendy cuts for the garments to vibrant color research and setting,” said Anselmi.

Hyosung and Hung Yen debuted FishTale at Interfilière in Paris, and the positive industry reception reflects the growing demand for sustainable, functional fibers. “It takes true collaboration along the value chain to make a fabric launch a success,” said Whitmarsh-Knight. “Our dynamic partnership with Hung Yen is one of a shared vision based on market needs and company values.”

Following this swimwear partnership, Hung Yen plans to explore other functional research and development projects with Hyosung for sportswear and swimwear. “Despite our ethical corporate values, nowadays there are specific environmental targets that we are required to accomplish, which lead our vision as one of the exemplary business models in textile manufacturing in Vietnam and Southeast Asia,” said Anselmi. “Industrial design thinking, dynamism, cooperation, intuition and also brave choices are at the base of our mindset.”

Learn more about Hyosung and Hung Yen Knitting and Dyeing.

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