Wetsuit recycling is a hot topic right now and one that we should all care about. Recycling in general is easy to get behind, but it is also an area that has been awash with false promises and a lack of transparency. Greenwashing is far more prevalent than any of us would like to admit. It is also easy to be complacent.
On a recent visit to La Rochelle to the Soöruz headquarters we got to visit their wetsuit recycling centre. They recycled 20 000 wetsuits last year. They accept wetsuits from any brand. They have invested in staff and machinery to process the wetsuits and shred them. The resulting material is then repurposed. Today this is mostly as stuffing for punch bags and outdoor cushions, or as rubber tiles for gyms or playgrounds. However a significant amount of research is also being done to figure out larger scale, more industrial uses.
Not only are Soöruz actually doing this themselves, but they are scaling up. There are plans to invest in more machinery to expand their capacity to 60 000 suits a year. When you are doing this whole process yourself, and are transparent about what exactly is happening, and where the end product is going, this becomes a true step in the right direction.
This is something we are getting behind.
The video below walks you through the entire process.