The NYA-EVO camera backpacks with latch points to add anything from skis to camping gear are made for adventure photographers. But its newest generation is made both for outdoor photographers and the earth they adventure in. Launching on Kickstarter, the Fjord 36 ECONYL Pack and Fjord 60-C ECONYL Pack are redesigned using recycled nylon. The bag’s launch highlights a movement that I hope becomes even more widespread among gear companies.
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NYA-EVO ECONYL Backpacks
- The two backpacks launching on Kickstarter are a second generation of the bags, adding a few features and switching to a more sustainable fabric while still including some of the features of the originals.
- The changes to the Fjord 36 and Fjord 60-C include the ECONYL fabric exterior and a regenerated ripstop polyester interior. Both the waist belt and the sternum strap are now removable. A helmet attachment net has been added to the 60-C, and all the new bags have a new red color option and a new rain cover.
- The backpacks are rear-access style bags with removable camera cubes. A front compartment includes a laptop slot for up to a 16-inch device.
- The removable camera cubes have also been updated to use recycled inner and exterior rip-stop fabric, stronger velcro, and slimmer dividers for fitting in more gear.
- The Fjord 60-C is a 45L that still fits in many carry-on dimensions. It’s expandable to 60L using the roll-top design.
- The Fjord 36 is a 36L capacity bag and lacks the expanding capability of the 60-C.
- Both bags have attachment points to carry things like skis, snowshoes, ropes, hiking poles, camping gear, helmets, or tripods.
- The small cube accommodates one body and three mid to small lenses and a GoPro. The medium carries that plus one extra body while the large can carry two bodies, one larger telephoto, three medium-sized lenses, and a GoPro.
Can a Camera Bag Make a Difference in Ocean Pollution and Global Warming?
The updated bags use recycled materials for the main fabric of the backpack body as well as the inside and outside of the removable inserts. ECONYL has been used in several different products already, ranging from swimsuits and clothing to sunglasses and rugs. It’s made by a company called Aquafil, headquartered in Italy.
NYA-EVO isn’t the first company to make camera bags from recycled materials. Some companies, like Urth, make sustainability part of their brand. Major players like Lowepro have recently introduced bags made with partially recycled fabrics. The main fabric of the interior and exterior of the new NYA-EVO bags are made from 100 percent regenerated nylon.
The movement by companies to with more sustainable materials is promising. After a 2017 report traced 70 percent of greenhouse gas emissions back to 100 companies, many argue that choosing more earth-friendly cars and reusable grocery bags does little for the planet if major companies don’t follow suit. Of course, the counterargument is that those large companies only continue producing because consumers continue buying.
How much can a camera bag really make a difference? ECONYL is made from recycled nylon waste, including fishing nets, which are estimated to make up about 10 percent of ocean plastics and 46 percent of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
Recycling is almost always a good idea, but does recycling ocean garbage play a role in greenhouse gasses? In nylon’s case, the answer is yes. Nylon is made from coal and petroleum, and it creates a greenhouse gas that’s much worse than carbon dioxide: nitrous oxide. That means recycled nylon doesn’t only help keep it out of oceans and landfills, but when new nylon isn’t needed, fewer greenhouse gases are produced. NYA-EVO says that the ECONYL cuts the global warming impact by as much as 90 percent compared to using new nylon from oil.
As more small companies begin switching to recycled materials, larger companies will hopefully follow suit. There is a catch, however. Photographers buying new bags made with recycled materials when they already have a perfectly fine bag will do more harm than good. G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) may not technically be a greenhouse gas, but it’s certainly not good for the planet.
NYA-EVO acknowledges this, saying that the bags are made to last and come with a five-year warranty. But, our old bags will have to last until at least November: the time when the company estimates early backers can receive their bags. The Kickstarter has already surpassed its funding goal — though that doesn’t mean it’s completely without risk — and pledges are available starting at about $240, an estimated 20 percent savings from retail.
If photographers can replace worn-out bags with recycled ones, and recycle the old bags, that’s a significant step towards being a more environmentally conscious creative.