Spanish textile firm Seaqual showcased some of the collections made from eco-friendly polyester fibre at the Premiere Vision Paris. Recognized for its innovative environmental approach, the company showcased a range of the latest fabrics within the Premiere Vision “Smart Materials” zone, created within the Smart Square area dedicated to responsible creation. The company was founded in Spain in 2016 and has been manufacturing fibres created by cycling plastic waste which collects at the bottom of the sea and is then fished out by 400 partner fishing boats.

Although for every kilo of fibre produced, a kilo of waste is removed from the sea, the company says that the scale of the challenge is enormous: an estimated eight mn tonne of rubbish are dumped in the oceans every year. 80 per cent of this waste sinks to the sea floor. Seaqual 4U says it has has developed an ethical supply chain from the fishing boats to the consumers by involving all the different stakeholders within the textile industry (spinning, fabrics and brands) to encourage the clean-up of marine waste and the creation of ecologically sound yarns, fibres and fabrics.

Available in a wide variety of sizes and finishes (from continuous filaments and staple fibres), the yarns can be blended with natural fibres or used in pure (100 per cent) versions, either greige or yarn-dyed. They meet the requirements of ready-to-wear, sportswear, denim and even swimwear markets, the company says.

Although the Seaqual fibre is said to offer identical properties and qualities to fibres created using new polyester fibre, its environmental footprint is incomparable, the company says. It plays an active role in cleaning up the ocean depths and allows for a 40 per cent reduction in water consumption, energy savings of 50 per cent and reduces carbon emissions by 60 per cent.

In September 2015, Premiere Vision Paris launched Smart Square, a space dedicated to responsible creation that highlights innovative environmental approaches. This year, for the first time, this space expands and includes the Smart Materials, an area that presents responsible, innovative products. On the Seaqual booth, fabric manufacturer A Sampaio will offer a luxurious knit combining organic merino (73 per cent) and Seaqual Fiber (27 per cent) resulting in a soft and sustainable mid-weight fabric. The way the yarns combined gives designers the freedom to play with unicolor, heather aspect and cross dye effects. Sofileta will offer a superb, fine gauge single jersey knit of Seaqual fibre (74 per cent) and eco-friendly elastomer (26 per cent). This beautifully versatile 40 gauge knit with great power and opacity is equally ideal for swimwear and intimates as it is for shape-wear and leggings.