Recycle your old wetsuits, neoprene is pretty toxic
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 25 April, 2014 - There comes a time in a wetsuit’s life where it becomes used beyond repair. Materials damaged by the UV rays and the elasticity that once made it a good fitting suit destroyed by salt water and the elements leaving you with something thats as practical as a teabag to keep you warm.
Disposing of old, battered wetsuits that have reached the end of their functional life has always been a bit of a difficult decision, and I’m sure we wouldn’t be the only ones guilty giving an old suit a send off at a local dump. Ultimately, most wetsuits end their life in this way……..
Neoprene (the material that wetsuits are made from due to it’s insulating properties) is a highly polluting artificial rubber that takes over 100 years (and the rest…) to break down. Unlike many day to day items such as cardboard, glass and plastic bottles which can easily be recycled back into new items sadly there isn’t such a process for the material neoprene.
Ultimately, a suit put out for the bin man will more than likely make it’s way to landfill, or head to an incinerator…..either way, a process that will eventually release toxic fumes, gasses and toxins into our environment.
However, there is a solution in the form of neocombine.com who’ll take in your old wetsuit and repurpose it’s materials into cool beach items. Check out their website and be sure to recycle your old wetsuits.
What They Do At Neocombine
After collection, the wetsuits are washed with a biodegradable anti-bacterial agent and carfully dried in the sun (no electricity needed). We cut them in small templates of different colors and print them by hand using the very ancient screen printing technic with water based non toxic ink.
Once printed and cut again in small neoprene straps they are sewed by hand. Néocombine has developed a simple cross stitch, within the reach of all. For those who need work, a thread, a needle and a brief introduction is enough to get back on tracks.
Neocombine is not only a place where you "throw" with conscious. We create craft and cool stuff for the beach. Your wetsuit is now turned into something new, colorfull, clean and fun... a bracelet! The only resource required: imagination and hard back yard team work.
By wearing our bracelets at your wrist it becomes an act of commitment to the preservation of our coastline. It is also a fun way to give our old wetsuits a second life in the sun and the beach.