Did you ever think you’d be wearing plants while hanging ten? Outdoor adventurist brand Patagonia has been making strides with their experimentation with eco-friendly wetsuits. They’re latest line borrows from the plant world- replacing petroleum-based synthetics with bio-materials, making the world’s first plant based wet suit.
Patagonia is no stranger to sustainability or customer service, their recent R1 wetsuit was designed to please customers in warmer waters, and is made entirely from recycled polyester. The company itself hopes to change the game of active fashion, leading the industry into green fashion.
Most wetsuits are made of neoprene, a petroleum-based synthetic that both shields surfers from water while keeping them warm. Greener versions of the synthetic, which also include recycled materials, are available, but it can never be called truly green as long as they contain neoprene. Enter Patagonia, who went on a mission to create a neoprene-free suit.
Four years into the research, they’ve achieved a 60% plant based wet suit. With the help of clean technology company Yulex Corporation, Patagonia was able to create a wetsuit made with guayule, a renewable non-food crop. Guayule is grown widely without pesticides in the U.S. and is structurally sound. The company will continue to develop the material and hopes to make a 100% guayule based suit in the coming years.
The 60 percent plant-based suit will launch in Japan next spring.