Surfers have been hooked on neoprene since the 1950s, but it’s a nonrenewable material with an energy-intensive manufacturing process. By replacing it with Yulex® natural rubber from sources that are Forest Stewardship Council® certified by the Rainforest Alliance, we’re reducing CO2 emissions by up to ~80% when compared to conventional neoprene—causing less harm to the planet we love and the oceans that give us waves to ride. Pioneering the use of natural rubber in wetsuits is a story we’re proud to tell—because after six decades of neoprene dependency, it’s high time to set surfing free. To learn more, see http://www.patagonia.com/yulex.
The entire line of Patagonia’s all-new, high-performance wetsuits is made with natural rubber developed in partnership with Yulex and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified by the Rainforest Alliance. The certification assures customers that the source plantation isn’t contributing to deforestation, and that it’s managed in a way that maintains the ecological functions and integrity of the forest. The Rainforest Alliance—an international nonprofit dedicated to the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable livelihoods, with a focus on tropical landscapes—performs audits to confirm that the plantation adheres to the FSC’s standards on the ground.
“Surfers and wetsuit manufacturers—including Patagonia—have relied on neoprene for years, despite the fact that it’s a nonrenewable, petroleum-based material with an energy-intensive manufacturing process,” says Hub Hubbard, Patagonia’s wetsuit development manager. “Neoprene is nasty stuff, but for a long time we had no alternative. Through our partnership with Yulex we’ve invested in a plant-based game-changer and built it into our entire fullsuit line.”