[img_assist|nid=1048562|title=Gul Recore Wetsuit|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=48|height=100]
When all the limestone ‘eco’ marketing started coming out a couple of years ago, I asked our neoprene supplier exactly how green it is and if we could use it. She said it’s no greener than oil based and that we’d been using it since 2007. They just switched when the oil price when through the roof!!
Since then I’ve been trying to make the best ‘green’ wetsuit.
There are loads of ‘green’ neoprene products in development, but it’s difficult trying to find out what actually makes a difference and what’s just another limestone ‘greenwash’, it’s a minefield!
We’re currently testing samples using solvent free lamination (unfortunately they only work on some fabrics) to bond recycled polyester, corn starch or bamboo fabrics to neoprene.
Corn starch is supposed ‘sustainable’ and bio-degradable, but I’m not sure about using corn, what about increasing global food prices and how can a ‘bio-degradable’ wetsuit be durable enough.
Bamboo seems like a good alternative how ever there are still problems with how ‘green the process of making it into a fibre.
Also now I’ve hearing stories about natural forests are being clear-cut to create and money making mono-culture bamboo plantations?
Recycled PET polyester is the best option. PET polyester is used in plastic bottles and other packaging, these are collected and used to make neoprene.