The Bad News About Neoprene...
Wetsuits are built with a variety of different materials in today's market. What's one thing that the majority of suits have in common? The use of Neoprene.
Neoprene is a non-biodegradable material derived from petroleum, and therefore bares a hug environmental impact. There are a few companies that are working on and have produced wetsuits made out of plant based rubbers, but unfortunately they lack the stretch and warmth of the tried and true neoprene wetsuits. To get the most stretch and warmth out of a wetsuit, one must resort to neoprene.
Although wetsuits are built to be rugged and last multiple seasons, with all of the use and abuse they get there will come a time where you will need to get rid of it... and the worst thing you can do is throw it in the trash!
Warm Winds Partners With Lava Rubber
As surfer's in the Northeast US we require the use of a wetsuit (almost) all year round. Fortunately for us wetsuit technology has come a long way, now stretchier and warmer than ever. Although wetsuits are great for keeping us toasty in New England waters, they are not so great for the environment.
It's an age old dilemma. In the event you can't find that lucky grom to psyche up with the ultimate kind of hand-me-down, bring your old wetsuit here and we will recycle it for you!
We teamed up with the crew at Lava Rubber to bring wetsuit recycling to Rhode Island! The crew at lava rubber will take the old neoprene, break it down, and produce new, up-cycled products such as yoga mats, coasters, and more.
Come by the shop to see some of the products built by Lava Rubber. Who knows, maybe one of the wetsuits that you recycled made it's way into one of the yoga mats that we have for sale!
Lava Rubber's Process
We call it "Lava Rubber" because of it's spiritual similarity to molten lava. Just like a volcano naturally recycles the Earth into new terrain, we do the same with donated "scraps" headed for the trash. Instead of ending their life-cycle in a dark and stinky landfill, we upcycle these materials into useful products. We began our project in 2009 where we started collecting scraps from: surfers, divers, surf schools, marine institutes, day camps, outdoor shops and neoprene manufacturers from the East and West coasts of the United States. In 2011, we formed LAVA RUBBER.
In 2013, we became very proud partners with Terracycle. We have been working together for the last three years to invent new products and solutions for "hard to recycle" waste streams. Initially, we wanted to find an answer for the tons of neoprene and other useable scrap headed for a landfill each year. Over time, we have grown into a reliable waste stream manager of : recycled wetsuits, neoprene sheets, gaskets, weatherstripping, juice pouches, energy bar wrappers, mis-printed yoga pants and other clean scraps. We took our time to develop what we call the "most considerate mat on Earth". Even our packaging is upcyclable. All LAVA RUBBER goods are handmade in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ. Enjoy"
Need to replace that old wetsuit that you are going to recycle??
Educate yourself on the latest and greatest in modern wetsuit design by checking out our wetsuit guide!