New British GUL Eco Suit .. Interesting ?

[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.

I was wondering why I never hear discussion of the possible use of hemp in the manufacture of wetsuits.  The plant grows fast and seems to have fiber that can easily be used in clothing.  Why not wetsuits.  Is there some drawback (other than legalities) that would prevent the development of neoprene or some other new hemp derivative from being used in the manufacture of wetsuits?

By the way:    Corn derivatives are an exspensive source for bio-fuel (ethanol etc) primarily because use of corn for fuel drives up the price of fuel, food and livestock feed(not to mention corn tortillas).   Sugar beets are a much better source. They were grown for sugar twenty years ago all over Calif. Arizona and Colorado.  Thousands of acres.  They grow fast, can be grown in shit soil all winter long and their pulp is used for a livestock feed.  But when you hear discussion of ethanol sources in the media you never hear mention of sugar beets.  Don't remember the last time I even heard of a field of sugar beets being grown any where.  If we want greener fuels and products; We are going to have to start thinking outside the box