Materials

We use recycled ripstop nylon and polyester because the thread is strong, lightweight, and will make your bag last a very long time. These characteristics are difficult to match with an alternative, natural material. With that in mind, recycled nylon and polyester are the most sustainable options for our products right now.

We are actively searching for a way to translate these qualities into another (new) material. Hopefully, one day, we can say goodbye to all plastics, even recycled ones. 

Ripstop

Ripstop means to 'stop' a 'rip'; ripstop fabrics are made with a reinforcing technique that makes them more resistant to tearing and ripping. During weaving, more robust (and often thicker) reinforcement yarns are interwoven regularly in a crosshatch pattern.

Small rips in our fabrics are typically inconsequential thanks to the ripstop technology, which prevents further tearing. While these tiny holes are common and harmless, if your bag has substantial damage or is no longer usable, we offer a repair service.





Recycled materials

We avoid using new raw materials wherever possible. We make all our fabrics from recycled yarn. 

Our recycled polyester thread is made from post-consumer waste, mainly plastic bottles and other plastic waste parts from clothing and bedding. Our recycled nylon thread is made from pre-consumer waste. This waste comprises pieces from undyed and uncoated fabrics and thread remnants left after weaving nylon fabric. 

Other plastic parts like buttons, nylon zippers and care labels are also sourced from recycled materials. For some elements, like our waterproof zipper, we are still searching for a recycled alternative. 




Closed loop system

Unfortunately, recycling used SUSAN BIJL bags is still complicated. 

The technology used to recycle post-consumer nylon has yet to be developed far enough to be used commercially. Nylon is melted at a lower temperature for recycling than many other materials. The material must be cleaned thoroughly to prevent dirt and bacteria from surviving. This process also produces weaker nylon than pre-consumer recycled nylon. 

Thankfully, the processes for recycling nylon are improving quickly. We are looking for a factory to take our used bags and prevent them from becoming garbage, but we have yet to find one. 

Mixed compositions in garments are a big problem for the post-consumer recycling industry, as all materials must be separated before processing. We are researching nylon alternatives for our polyester fabric so that our products have a uniform composition, preparing for a better future recycling process. . 

As a small company, we depend on bigger companies to lead the development of recycling processes for treated fabric compositions. We monitor new developments carefully. If you have information or insights for us, please don't hesitate to contact us here

Denier

We make our fabrics in three mass densities, called denier (D). Fabrics with a high denier count are thick and sturdy. Fabrics with a low denier count tend to be more smooth.

  • 40D

    We use a thin and smooth nylon composition for our rainwear items. Its supple touch makes it super comfortable to wear. 

  • 70D

    The original and most used denier of our fabrics! It is similar to the kite-store-nylon Susan used for the first prototype of The New Shopping Bag.

  • 300D

    This sturdy fabric is used for our more boxy items, like the bum bag and backpack. Its thick coating makes these items waterproof. 

Coating

The coating, which is applied on the inside of the fabric, defines the hand feel of our fabric. It improves the strength and durability of the material and makes it water-resistant or waterproof. 

We have been using a TPE coating for all our fabrics, a standard C6 PU coating. Since early 2023, the coating for 70D has been Bluesign-approved, and the coating for 300D is made from recycled TPE. 


Made without PFCs/PFAS

We are converting all our coatings to non-fluorinated alternatives by 2025!

Bluesign© dyeing

Our dye house is Bluesign certified. The Bluesign system aims to find solutions for sustainable textile production by eliminating harmful substances at each step of the supply chain and approving chemicals, processes, materials, and products that are safe for the environment, the workers and customers. For example, all the water used in the process is thoroughly cleaned before it leaves the factory sewer.  

Beyond the fabrics

A product consists of much more than the fabric used. We also ensure that the inside details of our products are made from the best possible materials.

  • YULEX®

    YULEX® is a natural rubber alternative developed with Patagonia for their neoprene wetsuits. It replaces the synthetic neoprene we have been using in the past to make laptop pockets and sleeves.


    YULEX® presents the same qualities as its predecessor: soft, thick and reliable for many years of protection.

  • Hemp

    Hemp is highly durable and long-lasting, and growing and processing it has very little harmful environmental impact compared to other natural fibres. It is a renewable fibre that grows quickly and heartily in various climates, requires little water, and can benefit the soil by replenishing vital nutrients.


    We use hemp for handles and straps.

  • Recycled components

    We create our labels and zippers from recycled nylon yarn.

    For the plastic bottom panel in our medium bum bag, we use ReTraze EcoPanel, which is made from 100% recycled high-density polyethylene (HDPE) (100% discarded fishing nets).

Do you have tips, information or questions?
Please don't hesitate to contact us at support@susanbijl.nl!