Press Release: When environmental awareness meets fashion, creativity explodes!

Athens, May 5th, 2016: Where can there be an overlap …

Athens, May 5th, 2016: Where can there be an overlap between ecology and the circular economy? The environmental NGO, MEDASSET, provides one possible answer: Since the beginning of 2015 the charity has been responsible for the coordination in Greece of the innovative European initiative, “Healthy Seas: A Journey from Waste to Wear”.

9-GF HS Greece Portugal-diver2This is a Europe-wide initiative that aims to remove from the sea fishing nets that have been caught up on wrecks or snagged by rocky outcrops on the ocean floor. The deadly “ghost” nets go on trapping all kinds of marine creatures, such as turtles, dolphins, seals, but once they are removed they can be processed, along with other waste products, and recycled to make ECONYL® – a premium quality yarn that is ideal for use in the manufacture of clothing and other products, such as carpet. The initiative promotes a new model of sustainable development that is based on the concept of a circular economy – maximising the potential of existing resources while reducing their waste. It is being run in 5 European states.

As part of its awareness-raising work, MEDASSET, together with AKTO, the College of Art and Design, and DoitEco Project, created a competition in which 10 students and recent graduates of the College have been given an opportunity to present new work to the public. All the clothing includes fabric woven with ECONYL® yarn – so it’s partly made with recycled fishing nets. Four of the five judges tasked with selecting the three top designers are women who are professionals in the fields of conservation, fashion, art, or business.

The fifth set of marks will be in the gift of the public, which, from the 5th of May is invited to join the judging panel via the website and cast its votes to say which of the 10 competitors has best succeeded in communicating the ambitions of the initiative – as expressed in its hashtag #FromWasteToWear and translate it into the language of fashion! The results will be announced on and the three top designers will be awarded their prizes at a special event on May 17th.

Cast your vote on the competition’s website

The “Healthy Seas: A Journey from Waste to Wear” Fashion Project is carried out under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme/Mediterranean Action Plan – Barcelona Convention Secretariat (UNEP/MAP), the SEV Business Council for Sustainable Development and the Hellenic National Commission for UNESCO.
It is supported by: the Representation of the European Commission in Greece and by Hilton Athens, ASAP Athens, Music-Works, Planet Blue, Freddy Makeup Stage, Aquafil, Carvico, Jersey Lomelina.

For more information please contact:
Jenny Ioannou, Head of Communications, MEDASSET
+30 210 3613572
[email protected]

Notes to Editors:
Founded in 1988, MEDASSET is an international environmental NGO registered as a charity and limited liability company in the UK and a Permanent Observer-Member to the Bern Convention, Council of Europe. MEDASSET is working closely with MEDASSET Greece – a not-for-profit organisation established in 1993 in Greece, which is a partner to the UN’s Mediterranean Action Plan (UNEP/MAP). Both organisations are active in the study and conservation of sea turtles and their habitats throughout the Mediterranean. Common goals are achieved through scientific research, environmental education, lobbying relevant decision makers, and raising public awareness.

About Healthy Seas – a journey from waste to wear
Healthy Seas is an international initiative that recovers abandoned fishing nets that pollute our seas and coasts and thanks to the ECONYL ® Regeneration System the contained nylon is regenerated into high-quality yarn which is then turned into brand new sustainable textiles.

About ECONYL ® brand
Made from 100 percent regenerated nylon waste materials, Aquafil’s ECONYL fiber helps divert global waste streams from landfills and oceans and is used to produce a wide range of textile products such as sportswear, swimwear, and carpets. Aquafil started the ECONYL Regeneration System as a sustainability initiative in 2007 and within four years it became an important milestone and commercial driver within the company, representing a significant step towards the company’s involvement in the circular economy. The ECONYL Regeneration System is the world’s most efficient industrial system for the production of Nylon 6 and is unique in that it boasts no loss of quality after reclamation and transformation of nylon waste. For more information, visit or @ECONYL