Eco-Friendly Wetsuits
Patagonia Yulex Wetsuits

Wetsuit technology has come a long way over the last few decades, to a point now where watersport enthusiasts are no longer deterred by colder winter weather — the problem is, that impressive ability to keep its wearer warm in the coldest of conditions does come at an environmental cost due to the use of neoprene.  Thankfully, responsible apparel giant Patagonia has just released a new neoprene-free wetsuit collection that aims to solve the problem.

Patagonia began its journey in developing wetsuits without the harmful neoprene ingredient 14 years ago, and in 2012 released its first product in collaboration with Yulex, a company dedicated to bio-rubber development. The Yulex rubber is derived from hevea trees planted in areas that don’t contribute to deforestation, and the CO2 emissions from the production of Yulex wetsuits are reduced by up to 80% when compared to traditional manufacturing. Patagonia has even shared the proprietary bio-rubber technology with other surfing gear manufacturers. The Yulex material has been incorporated into products by brands including Billabong, needessentials, Oxbow, Finisterre, SRFACE and more.

The all-new Patagonia Yulex wetsuits are now available in Hong Kong, come in different thicknesses, and are suitable for a range of water temperatures. The R2 Yulex front-zip full suit, which is best for 13°–16°C water, is made with 85% Yulex natural rubber/15% synthetic rubber by polymer content in Fair Trade Certified factories. The 100% recycled polyester lining in the arms and legs is high-stretch, and the front-zip design offers a better seal and extends the suit’s lifespan. The full suit is also available in thinner R1 Yulex rubber, suggested for 16°–18°C water, while the spring suit, long sleeve top, and vest are made of R1 Lite Yulex that works best for 18°–23°C water.