The technology of wetsuits in recent years has made enormous strides in terms of comfort, but until recently all surf and kitesurf wetsuits had in common the material with which they were made: neoprene.
Invented in the 1930s, neoprene has been used for surfing suits since the 1950s. Neoprene is a petrochemical product, an expanded synthetic rubber, which has a strong impact on the environment both during disposal and during production.
The invention of the Limestone Neoprene by the Japanese Yamamoto Corporation takes place in the 1960s . Limestone is derived from calcium carbonate (limestone) instead of polymers synthesized from oil. Like traditional neoprene, the production process generates blocks that are then sliced ??The only defect apparently detected is the price, quite high because extracting latex is a process that takes time and is done by hand.
Discover the Patagonian wetsuits here: https://eu.patagonia.com/it/it/home/
VISSLA, a French company from Hossegor, is another excellent example of a company committed to protecting the environment: "we are constantly trying to minimize our environmental impact and protect the oceans and waves". As far as the production of wetsuits in VISSLA is concerned, they are currently moving on different fronts: on the one hand there are wetsuits made with Limestone neoprene and recycled tires, on the other side the Eco Seas Wetsuits line entirely made of Naturalprene, natural rubber from the trees , but not only. In addition to natural rubber in place of neoprene, VISSLA uses water-based glues rather than solvent-based lamination materials and recycled plastic liner bottles (to be precise, there are about 45 recycled bottles in each suit).
See the range on the official Vissla website: https://www.vissla.com/eco-seas/
Still a French company and still Naturalprene (natural rubber). Sooruz currently produces a line of wetsuits in Naturalprene but its goal is to progressively abandon other types of neoprene. Like the overseas sister VISSLA, even SOORUZ uses only water-based glues and linings made from recycled plastic bottles.
Read more about Sooruz and the environment: https://surfwear.sooruz.com/environnement/
Picture is another brand strongly committed to the development of sustainable and increasingly green products. Today Picture offers a whole range of performing and green products. As for the wetsuits, Picture uses two types of materials: Naturalprene extracted from Hevea, or Eicoprene made of 70% limestone and 30% recycled tires. In both cases it is therefore a question of sustainable materials, always used with water-based glues and linings made from recycled plastic, for 100% oil-free sessions.
Check out the wetsuit collection on the official website: https://www.picture-organic-clothing.com/en
5. SEN NO SEN
Sennosen is once again a French brand, independent and very committed to eco-sustainability. Their range of wetsuits includes the use of Neoprene Limestone or Yulex, or natural rubber extracted from plants, developed by Patagonia. Sennosen's commitment is to offer environmentally sustainable but also economically competitive products.
Check out the sennosen range here: https://sennosen.com/
Fortunately, however, companies that are moving in the direction of proposing increasingly sustainable products are constantly growing and surely there are more than these 5 that we have listed here. In particular, even today, although not many are using 100% natural and vegetable rubber (such as yulex), there are many more that have been using Limestone neoprene for some time, in some cases combining it with other recycled materials.
Examples are companies like MATUSE, an American company engaged in the production of wetsuits in Geoprene (Neoprene Limestone), RIDEENGINE company made famous thanks to the innovation brought in the trapezes for kitesurfing but also producing excellent wetsuits and accessories, XCEL Wetsuit and many others.