GROWN, NOT MADE.
Why change from the tried and tested neoprene we all know?
To enable future generations to keep diving, that’s why.
A great wetsuit that keeps you warm can make or break a dive and neoprene has long been the material of choice for producing thermal underwater protection. This synthetic rubber has a high tensile strength and ability to resist degradation from ozone, sunlight, oxidation, sand and dust, making it a great option for water sports where you need to move. However, with our increasing focus on environmental awareness, we needed to take a closer look at our friend the wetsuit and see if it truly is the paragon we always thought.
Petroleum-based wetsuits rely on oil exploration and drilling, neither of which are good for our planet. The high levels of energy required to produce petroleum neoprene contribute towards climate change, releasing toxic gasses emitted in the chemical processing plants.
One of the main ingredients of our neoprene wetsuits and neoprene accessories is carbon black, recycled by our wetsuit factory from post-consumer scrap tyres. This is combined with neoprene chips, produced from limestone instead of traditional petroleum-based neoprene. After the neoprene creation process, the redundant trimmed materials will be recycled and reused in the mixing process to produce more neoprene sheets. Overall, huge amounts of raw materials are saved, energy consumption is reduced and waste water and air emissions are minimised during production.
But this is still not enough. According to analysts*, the global neoprene consumption is expected to reach 445 kilotons by 2020.
Whether made with petroleum or limestone based neoprene, unfortunately neither of these are renewable sources and at some point they will run out.
Surface, made using Yulex Pure™, offers a unique solution. Without compromising on strength and performance, it uses completely natural rubber that comes from a sustainable source using earth-gentle processes.
Yulex Pure™ is the world’s first high performing, nonsensitising, 100% plant-based, ultra-pure natural rubber that is FSC® certified, sustainably sourced and proudly produced in the United States of America.
The Yulex Pure™ Process removes over 99.9% of natural rubber harmful impurities, including proteins and increases its performance characteristics and physical properties delivering a stronger, more elastic material. Yulex Pure™ is sustainably grown and harvested, irrigated by ambient rainfall and helps protect the social and economic well-being of forest dependent communities.
The lining fabrics of the Surface suit are created from plastic bottles, recycled and spun into polyester yarn.
This helps to prevent some of the 8 million tons of plastic waste that threatens to enter our oceans each year.
The devastation of plastic in our oceans is plain to see. From littering coastlines to choking marine life, more needs to be done to reduce and reuse the plastics that are already in circulation.
Every care has been taken to minimise the environmental impact of this suit down to the small details. Aqua-based glues are used to bond the foam to the fabrics and prints are produced in water-based inks or embossed preventing the use of harmful solvents.
Designed for freediving, snorkelling and surface watersports, the minimal design features a mini chest zipper, eliminating the need for a back zip, radically improving mobility and minimising the opportunity for water to enter the suit though the teeth of the zip. The flexible rubber of the suit provides freedom of movement and the inner ankle and wrist seals ensure that suit flush is minimised.
This suit represents the beginning of what we see as the future of dive wear, a way to make high performance gear that doesn’t destroy the earth.