Each year it is estimated that a staggering 8,380 tonnes of wetsuits are discarded into landfills or incinerated across the globe.
The manufacturing process of wetsuits and other neoprene products is also toxic: made from finite rubber or limestone creating levels of pollution dangerous to wildlife and people. Not currently recycled on a large scale, millions of neoprene products end up in landfill each year where they are incinerated, leading to huge amounts of carbon emissions that ultimately pollute our environment.
To help combat this environmental and wildlife emergency, Finisterre has teamed up with Circular Flow, which has devised the world’s first closed-loop neoprene regeneration scheme, to launch an innovative 100% recyclable neoprene partnership. Its goal is that harmful neoprene products should be recycled for use again and again rather than being incinerated. In spring 2023 Finisterre is aiming to release a series of recycled neoprene products from the Circular Flow partnership, with a particular focus on recycled boots, gloves, hats and other items to be worn in the water.
Throughout June, wetsuits of any brand and condition can be dropped off at any Finisterre store or sent via freepost in exchange for 20% off a future purchase. Once they have reached their target of 1,000 wetsuits, they will then be shipped to the Circular Flow factory and recycling plant, made into new products and retailed again, ensuring a 100% closed-loop recycling process. Very soon, other brands will be able to send suits to Circular Flow so that this industry-wide, global problem can be collaboratively addressed.
“There have been great advances in eco wetsuits and the search for alternatives to petroleum-based neoprene, but the real elephant in the room for the water-sports industry is what to do with a wetsuit at the end of its functional life. We are therefore very excited to have finally found a closed loop solution for wetsuit and neoprene waste – and we have been searching for some time!’ says Finisterre founder Tom Kay.