Wetsuit recycling

How to recycle a wetsuit

There is a lot of focus on making wetsuits more sustainable by adopting new production technologies and green material innovations. However, we can’t only leave reducing a wetsuit’s carbon footprint up to the manufacturers. There is a lot you can do to make surfing and wetsuits more eco-friendly. There is no need to throw your used wetsuits into a landfill just yet. The process of wetsuit recycling remains a challenge, but small steps are being made to improve this.

SRFACE wetsuit kneepad with sealed seams closeup

Buy high-quality products

To avoid unnecessary neoprene waste, try buying a high-quality wetsuit. Especially one that lasts long, doesn’t fade or go out of fashion next season. When buying a new wetsuit, make sure it is made with the most sustainable materials and technologies that you can afford. Not sure what colour wetsuit to choose? Black is by far the most sustainable colour used in wetsuits. Darker colours, in general, fade less and can be made with less pollutive pigments. However, neon coloured materials are the worst for the environment.

Wetsuit recycling

It’s still impossible to recycle neoprene itself back into raw neoprene to make new wetsuits. The combination of different materials used in one wetsuit make this a challenge. However, there’s a great way to give your wetsuit a second life. By shredding it into pieces, neoprene can be up-cycled into qualified products such as a new yoga mat. Other examples of recycled neoprene products are boxing bag fillings.

Donate to charity

Consider donating your used wetsuit to charity. For instance when it’s still in good shape, but you don’t have use for it anymore. There are many NGO programs that help kids get off the street by teaching them how to surf.

Recycled neoprene waste materials

To ensure a wetsuit produces minimal waste material, it is important that a wetsuit designer develops the best possible panel layout. This results in the most efficient patterns with the lowest yield rate. This makes for better cutting efficiency when cutting single panels out of a fixed size neoprene sheet. Our wetsuit manufacturer recycles their neoprene cutoff waist and makes qualified products with it. Unfortunately, there are lots of small wetsuit factories that don’t care as much about the environment and throw offcuts into landfills.

SRFACE wetsuit limestone neoprene foam with aqua alpha glue and lining closeup

Eco carbon black

Neoprene raw material is a yellow colour. But all neoprene foam used in wetsuits is black. One of the important ingredients of limestone neoprene is also what colours it black. This ingredient, eco carbon black, is now harvested by recycling scrap rubber tires. This significantly reduces energy consumption and CO2 emission during the neoprene production process.

Recycled shipping bag

When buying a wetsuit online, the most sustainable way to ship it is in a recycled plastic shipping bag. Shipping bags reduce the volume of the package, which makes it possible for the courier to carry more parcels in his van. This reduces the amount of fuel needed for delivery. Make sure you always reuse or recycle your packaging when buying products online.

SRFACE wetsuit shipping wet bag

SRFACE Shipping Bag

SRFACE ships all wetsuits in recycled plastic bags. We have chosen a thick plastic to produce the bag. Therefore, it will survive the journey from the factory to you. On top of that, the SRFACE wetsuit bag is reusable. We’ve added a closure rope to the bag, so you can use it as a wetsuit bag to store your wet wetsuit in your car.

And, recycled plastic uses less to produce compared to recycled carton boxes. The fact that you can use the bag as a wetsuit bag means you don’t produce as much waste.

New technologies

SRFACE is always on the lookout for new sustainable ways to lower our carbon footprint. Innovations in the wetsuit production process, materials, technologies and recycling initiatives. Do you have a great idea that we should look into? Let us know, we’re all ears.

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