Patagonia is an organisation whose environmental devotion we've admired for a while. They have pushed the boundaries of sustainable innovation in the apparel industry while supporting grassroots environmental groups. Some of the world's best climbers, surfers, environmental personalities and all round legends are sponsored by Patagonia. This year they surprised the world by creating the first ever neoprene-free wetsuit.
Neoprene is a petroleum-based material which has dominated the wetsuit manufacturing world since it first came out in the mid-50s. As we may know, petroleum by-products like plastics (and many more) create significant pressures on our natural world. Therefore, we felt the need to pay homage to Patagonia's latest addition to their sustainable apparel arsenal.
Grown deep within one of the major mountainous ranges of South America, the new Patagonia Yulex wetsuits are a clear demonstration of ecological innovation. Using rubber sourced from hevea trees in the Sierra Madre de Chiapas in Guatemala, Patagonia has managed to reduce the carbon footprint of wetsuit manufacturing.
Patagonia's Yulex wetsuits are VOX POPULI's favourite sustainable innovation from the surfing industry in the year of 2016. Or, at least so far.
Photos sourced from Patagonia's website.