In 2018, we talked a lot about our surf wetsuits made with NaturalPrene, and our progressive transition towards using another material, EicoPrene.
2019 marks a new stage for us in product development, with more than 90% of our wetsuits now made with EicoPrene.
What is EicoPrene?
EicoPrene is a foam material that has the same technical features and profile as conventional neoprene. However, there is nothing conventional about the origins of this new material.
Whereas neoprene is petroleum-based, EicoPrene is made from a mix of limestone (70%) and recycled tires (30%).
To be honest, EicoPrene takes more energy to make than NaturalPrene. The chemical process required to breakdown limestone to make synthetic foams uses a significant amount of energy.
However, we have decided to use this material for 2 main reasons:
– Since this material is not at all connected to fossil fuels, it goes hand in hand with our commitment to fight against climate change,
– EicoPrene allows us to maintain current retail prices, and therefore provides as many people as possible with the chance to make an environmentally-responsible purchase; it does not penalize the end consumer.
Along with other surf-industry brands committed to the cause, we would like these “alternative” materials to become more mainstream and contribute to making surfing a much cleaner activity for the environment. Even if Picture is still relatively new to the wetsuit market, we have to show that solutions do exist and evolve over time.
Let us all work together to effect change!
We use EicoPrene as the foam material. The interior and exterior fabrics are made with recycled polyamide or recycled polyester. The liner provides warmth and dries quickly, whereas the exterior fabric enhances a wetsuit’s hydrophobic properties.
To laminate the foam and other fabrics together, we use a solvent-free glue called Aqua-A™. The solvents typically used in glues are allergenic and toxic due to their volatility.
Finally, we know that developing an environmentally-friendly innovation without offering technical performance and comfort is totally useless. Our wetsuits are designed with the latest technologies and advanced features, which are described in detail in each product sheet.
EicoPrene is part of our commitment to wipe out the use of fossil fuels. It is the fight we want to lead to stop climate change. Sheico, the company that makes our wetsuits, is one of our key partners in this fight.
Learn more here about Sheico’s environmentally and socially-responsible initiatives!