today I want to share with you some more detailed facts about the chemical composition and production of wetsuits, as well as some sipmle guidelines to reduce your ecological footprint as a surfer.
Almost every wetsuit ever made is mainly created from petrochemicals, or in the case of ‘geoprene’, the source material is limestone based, which involves mining into great depths. Both are non-renewable, high in CO2 emissions and have a significant and longterm effect on our planet.
░T░h░e░ ░g░o░o░d░ ░n░e░w░s░ is that more and more brilliant and dedicated minds are working hard to create more eco-friendly wetsuits or are working on ways to recycle them.
Below you find some of the alternatives of neoprene:
1. GEOPRENE is made from limestone and was the first convincing technology. Unfortunately, limestone is difficult to extract from mines, needs a lot of heat to process & is a limited resource.
2. YULEX is a natural rubber, extracted from a plant called Guayule. Patagonia f.e. is using it in combination with recycled polyester & merino wool.
3. NATURALPRENE is another natural material being used by brands such as Vissla, Picture Organic, and Deeply.
As you can see, there have been interesting and great developments in creating alternatives to the petroleum-based neoprene. This is great and such an important step. But what to do with the suits after their functional life? Repairing and upcycling the wetsuits is a great and creative way to reduce wetsuit-waste. Even though, it is only a drop on the hot stone...
I want to point out the one and only company so far which has looked at the life-cicle of a wetsuit holistically. FINISTERRE is pioneering the way for a ‘greener’ surfing industry by working on circular manufacturing, in which the wetsuit is taken apart and then processed into a new one. It's called the 'wetsuit from wetsuits program'. The goal is to use the material over and over again and by this creating zero-waste.
So what can YOU do to have a greener footprint as a surfer?
- wear your wetsuit as long as possible (repair it) - upcycle the suit (or donate it to upcycling projects such as mine :)) - support companies working on ecofriendly suits, boards, leashes, pads, fins, etc. by purchasing their products - use biodegradable sunscreen & wax
ღ Namaste ღ Your Eva