SRFACE Stories

Introducing SRFACE Eco wetsuits

Written by Sieuwe

We’re proud to introduce our new SRFACE Eco wetsuits. The SRFACE Eco wetsuits have been designed to make your surfing endeavours more sustainable without compromising on performance. These all-new eco-friendly wetsuits are constructed from a neoprene-free natural rubber called Lexcell™️ developed by Yulex®, and come fully double-lined with recycled lining.

In this article we’ll explain the design decisions we’ve made. We discuss the sustainable aspects of our Eco wetsuits and take a deep dive into all its high-end features.

How do you design a sustainable wetsuit?

To start with, we source our materials from a variety of industry-leading suppliers. To bring you the latest innovations we make and test samples with every new material we come across. Whenever we’re at a a crossroads regarding materials to use for our wetsuit, choosing packaging or suppliers we keep the following components in mind – Planet, Quality and Price. We call this the PQP framework.

Until recently we’ve chosen to work exclusively with limestone neoprene. In comparison to traditional neoprene, limestone neoprene is a huge environmental improvement since it’s not petroleum based. Recently however, a new sustainable material has made its appearance on the wetsuit stage. Over the last few years Yulex® has been working together with Patagonia® on an innovative neoprene-free natural rubber called Lexcell™️.

The beauty of Lexcell™ natural rubber

Let’s take a closer look at this Lexcell neoprene-free natural rubber foam. First things first, this innovative material has the lowest carbon footprint in modern wetsuit production. Secondly, it’s double-lined which allows for strong and durable seams between panels which keeps water out and you warm. 

While it is more costly than limestone neoprene, the quality of this new developed fabric is rapidly improving and almost matching those of the conventional materials we are used to.

FSC® certified rubber safeguards against deforestation

The Lexcell™️ material in our SRFACE Eco wetsuits is created using natural rubber which is extracted from Hevea trees in Sri Lanka. This flexible plant-based rubber is purified and then made into a high-quality, closed-cell foam.

The good news is that all of the Yulex® rubber tree plantations are FSC®-certified. This means that your new SRFACE Eco wetsuit doesn’t contribute to deforestation, excess use of agricultural pesticides or any violations of human rights.

Currently only 4% of all global rubber plantations are FSC®-certified, FSC® is working hard on increasing this number. FSC®-certified forest management has the potential to affect positive environmental and social transformation of the natural rubber sector.

Yulex® and its customers are demonstrating to farmers and manufacturers that there is a growing market for their sustainably produced natural rubber. So by purchasing a SRFACE Eco wetsuit you’re helping to reshape an entire industry!

Keeping it green with recycled wetsuit lining and insulation

To make our Eco wetsuit as environmentally friendly as possible we took a good look at all its components, this includes the material we use to line our natural rubber foam with.

On the full outside and on the inside of the arms and leg panels, the Yulex natural rubber is laminated with recycled nylon lining. This lining is woven from recycled nylon yarns, harvested from nylon scraps and waste material. The benefit of using recycled nylon instead of recycled polyester (RPET), is that the material is more flexible and feels much softer and smoother to the touch.

On the inside of the main body panels we use recycled quick-drying plush hollow-fibre insulation. The yarns to make the inside plush lining are sourced from recycled plastic bottles that otherwise might have ended up in a landfill, or ocean near you. The insulation is used only in the areas you need it most. This way you’re able to stay warm and flexible in your hips, knees, shoulders and arms at the same time.

You can also rest assured that SRFACE works exclusively with a water-based lamination glue called aqua-α on all of our wetsuits. This eco-friendly, water-based glue creates a strong bond between the foam and lining. You can expect our Eco wetsuit to be warm, comfortable and, of course, sustainable.

*Recommended water temperatures for the SRFACE Eco wetsuit range from 11° to 19°C

Cutting down on logos, pigments and prints: A minimalistic durable design

At SRFACE, we don’t use any unnecessary logos, colours or prints on our Eco wetsuits, thereby cutting back on pigment pollution and water usage. Instead, we’ve decided to work with subtle logo embossments and added subtle inside prints. The result is a minimalistic and durable design that stands the test of time.

You might have asked for a green wetsuit, but by using black foam and lining, we’re taking another step in the right direction. Besides black being a more sustainable colour, it keeps you warmer than others. Compared to other colours, black absorbs UV radiation from the sun at the highest rate. Another quality of the colour black is that it is most likely to fade, so your wetsuit will look fresh for years to come. 

Carbon-neutral shipping

Designing and producing high-end wetsuits is our core business and we aim to do this in a sustainable way. But sustainability doesn’t stop at our products. It has been an integral part of our business and the way we select our service partners since the day we founded our company.

By partnering with GoodShipping, we are able to reduce the CO2 emissions caused by the shipment of our products. While most of the shipping industry still uses polluting fossil fuel, GoodShipping has incorporated the use of sustainable marine oil. This reduces carbon emissions, as well as nitrogen and sulphur pollution. 

As a cargo owner, SRFACE can determine which share of the loads we ship has to be shipped at ‘zero-carbon’. GoodShipping enables decarbonised shipping of our cargo by blending in the required amount of sustainable marine fuel.

Additionally, we are also decreasing our carbon footprint by working exclusively with UPS Carbon Neutral shipments. By taking part in the UPS Carbon Neutral program we pay an incremental amount to offset the climate impact of the delivery of each of our packages.

The Carbon Neutral shipping program by UPS has a CarbonNeutral® certificate. This protocol ensures the integrity of the carbon footprint assessments, the quality of the offsets purchased and the guarantee that the program has reduced emissions to net zero.

Wetsuit and shipping bags made from recycled plastic

Plastic is a potentially catastrophic environmental problem. SRFACE wetsuits (full suits only) are shipped in shipping bags made from 100% recycled plastic. You can re-use your shipping bag as a waterproof wetsuit bag. Should you want to dispose of the bag, please make sure to separate with other plastic for recycling.

Surfers: Nina Moerdijk & Twan Lugten

Behind the lens: Jan Bijl

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