Sustainable outdoor and surf brand, Finisterre, is collaborating with Circular Flow, which has developed the world's first closed-loop neoprene regeneration scheme to recycle wetsuits into new neoprene items.
According to Finisterre, the production process of wetsuits and other neoprene items is toxic because finite rubber and limestone produce levels of pollution that are hazardous to animals and humans, and wetsuits are now recycled on a massive scale, so they end up in landfills.
To combat this, Finisterre is launching a unique 100% recyclable neoprene collaboration with Suffolk-based Circular Flow, which has created the technology and manufacturing methods to recycle neoprene into a new sheet of fabric, something it says has never been done before.
Finisterre adds that 8,380 tonnes of wetsuits are destroyed or incinerated across the globe, and it hopes that their cooperation will recycle old wetsuits for reuse, reducing carbon emissions and protecting the environment and oceans.
Circular Flow can recycle 100% of returned neoprene products, including zips and plastic parts, into recycled neoprene sheets that may be used to make new neoprene items. It also states that Circular Flow can accept recycled products for recycling up to seven times, extending the average life of an item from two to more than 20 years.
As part of the initiative, Finisterre is providing a take-bake scheme for wetsuits of any brand and condition to be dropped off at any Finisterre store or sent through freepost during June in return for 20 percent off a future purchase. They will transport the wetsuits to the Circular Flow facility and recycling plant after they have reached their target of 1,000 wetsuits.
Finisterre also plans to release a line of recycled neoprene products through its Circular Flow collaboration in spring 2023, with an emphasis on recycled boots, gloves, caps, and other water-related things.
Finisterre founder Tom Kay, said that there have been remarkable developments in environmental wetsuits and the quest for alternatives to petroleum-based neoprene. But the real elephant in the room for the water-sports sector is what to do with a wetsuit at the end of its functional life. They’re thus overjoyed to have finally discovered a closed-loop solution for wetsuit and neoprene waste — after a long search!
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