Is biodegradable clothing the future of fashion?


Philadelphia-based brand Aqua Vida sells workout wear that’s 100 per cent recyclable, and will take under three years to decompose in an anaerobic landfill or compost heap.

The innovative fabric—called Amni Soul Eco—is the world’s first biodegradable polyamide 6.6 yarn. It also offers UV protection (SPF 50+), antibacterial benefits, comfort, breathability, durability, and is easy to wash and quick to dry.

Amni Soul Eco has the same shelf life as conventional polyamides. But, in anaerobic landfills (or your own compost bin), bacteria is able to gain access to the fabric and accelerate biodegradation. 50 per cent of the garment’s breakdown into organic matter happens within the first year.

The yarn is also sustainable with regards to its production. The production process is transparent from start to finish, and raw materials are fair trade as well as locally produced and sourced. Amni Soul Eco is made in a circular system: Scrap, wastewater, raw materials found in water, and heat generated during the production phases are all recycled.

Aqua Vida is a great example of a lifestyle brand, as it hopes to nurture an appreciation for the earth in its customers by organising yoga and adventure retreats, fitness teacher trainings, and waterway cleanups. It plans to remove 10,000 pounds of trash from waterways by 2020 and it’s organised 16 events and removed 3,341 pounds of garbage from the water so far.

Aqua Vida hopes to promote both physical health as well as the health of the planet. According to its website: “We are a community with a mission—to create a healthier home for a healthier you, both within and without.” Indeed, the brand’s community activity comes to life on social media where Aqua Vida event participants post their experiences under the brand’s chosen hashtag #makesomewaves.

Aqua Vida is a member of 1% For the Planet, a global network of businesses, non-profits, and individuals working together for climate action.

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