Fourth Element this week introduced the Surface, a natural-rubber, “OceanPositive” 3mm wetsuit.
A great wetsuit that keeps you warm can make or break your time in the water and neoprene has long been the material of choice for thermal protection. However, petroleum-based wetsuits rely on oil exploration and drilling, neither of which are good for the planet. The high levels of energy required to produce petroleum neoprene contribute towards climate change, releasing toxic gasses emitted in the chemical processing plants.
To that end, the new Surface wetsuit is made using Yulex Pure, a completely natural rubber that comes from a sustainable source using earth-gentle processes.
Yulex Pure is FSC-certified, ultra-pure natural rubber grown in the USA. The plants are grown without artificial irrigation systems and the materials are processed with recycled water. Even the waste plant material after the rubber extraction process is used as biomass fuel for electricity generation. The lining fabrics are created from ocean-bound plastic bottles, recycled and spun into polyester yarn. Water-based glues are used to bond the foam to the fabrics and the prints are water-based or embossed; every care has been taken to minimize the environmental impact of this product.
The wetsuit’s minimal design features a mini chest zipper, eliminating the need for a back zip, radically improving mobility and minimizing the opportunity for water to enter the suit though the teeth of the zip. The flexible rubber of the suit provides freedom of movement and the inner ankle and wrist seals ensure that suit flush is minimized.
The Surface is designed for life in the water from diving, freediving and snorkelling to surface watersports such as stand up paddleboarding, surfing and open water swimming.
The Surface Wetsuit retails for US$559 (~471 Euros). For more info, check out the video below or go to the Fourth Element website.