Towards a more sustainable wetsuit: A guide

Being a scuba diving instructor and a surfer, I have been through a fair amount of neoprene which causes me great guilt. Although neoprene itself is not considered as toxic, the gasses released during the production are, without even mentioning the fact that neoprene derives from fossils fuels. And what’s the point to campaign for better oceans, less pollution and more sustainable food, while we are wearing the exact cause of climate change?

Here are 3 alternatives on the market which should help reduce the strain on the environment wet suit wise.

Picture Organic Clothing: (release 2017)

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Picture Organic is the latest to enter the sustainable wetsuit race. This garnment promises to be “85% natural rubber from a Malaysian plantation, and 15% synthetic chlorine-free rubber.” The seam will be made with a solvent free water based product.

The performance of the wet suit has not been forgotten has apparently their “NaturalPrene” will extend up to 4x it’s size!

This is a natural range extension for the already well established French brand with all their clothing produced in the most eco-friendly way possible.

Prices are yet to be released.

More Information: http://www.picture-organic-clothing.com/

 

VISSLA: (Coming Soon)

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Vissla prides itself as a forward-thinking brand and their new eco-wetsuit tries to be just that. While other wetsuit have gone all natural ( natural rubber, limestone), VISSLA has decided to integrate recycled plastic bottles as well as those listed.

With plastic taking up to 1000years to fully disintegrate in nature, one million sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals are killed annually from plastic in our oceans and 44 percent of all seabird species, all sea turtle species and a growing list of fish species have been documented with plastic in or around their bodies, we have serious plastic problem

VISSLA promises that “45 Recycled bottles to make up the material used in the jersey lining. Upcycled Thermal full body lining insulates heat and dries fast. Together these Eco friendly materials make the Eco Seas wetsuit warm, soft, and stretchy. This allows for more freedom of movement while surfing and more ease to put on and take off.”

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VISSLA also offers a range of upcycled boardshorts.

More information: https://www.vissla.com/ 

PATAGONIA: 

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With a promise that the manufacturing process of the wet suit is almost entirely green, Patagonia has set themselves has green wet suit pioneers.

Their neoprene is made  from the Guayule, a plant native to the South west of the USA and northern Mexico. The plant requiring very little to grow therefore the commercial harvesting would not put pressure on the environment.

However, it is important to note that the Patagonia is a blend. Called Yulex blend after the Guayale producers, the wet suit is made of 60% yulex / 40% neoprene.

Patagonia has however been very vocal about their environmental engagement and announced that although the brand spent several years developing the blend, they would like to share it to the rest of the industry in hope to raise the eco friendly bar amongst brands.

Which we hope, as a Patagonia Yulex suit will set you back £500.

More information: www.patagonia.com

 

 

 

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