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Patagonia

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Circularity: an endlessly reusable wetsuit.

Before we start, here is the number of the wetsuit market: Roughly 7 million wetsuits are sold annually and the global market is forecast to grow to $3.5 billion by 2033. Most wetsuits in the market are made from neoprene, a petroleum-based synthetic rubber. (It can expose you to chemicals known to cause cancer.) A decade ago, to replace neoprene, Patagonia started to use Yulex, a natural rubber produced by drought-resistant Hevea trees and Guayule plants. But even Yulex wetsuits are made with carbon black, a key element in wetsuits and also a ubiquitous ingredient in tires, plastics, inks, and electronics. It gives wetsuits their strength and jet-black color. But recently they found a new partner that helps them reclaim carbon black from old wetsuits: Bolder Industries, which developed an industrial process to reclaim carbon black from old tires. Carbon black accounts for about 20% of Patagonia wetsuits’ rubber foam and is also used to dye the wetsuits’ recycled nylon lining. This new partnership will not only keep the old wetsuits out of landfills but also avoid CO2 emissions from the production of virgin carbon black which emits 79 million metric tons of CO2 annually. “It’s a circular solution, not just a sustainably sourced or a bio-based material.” It’s wetsuits to wetsuits♻️, it’s circular economy! To build a just, resilient world, we need to transfer our whole systems and structures to the circular economy. To learn more, join us on May 22-24, as We Don’t Have Time will be broadcasting Circularity 24, the leading conference for professionals building the circular economy, organized by Greenbiz. Register 👇




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  • Princess

    13 h

    It's inspiring to see innovations like endlessly reusable wetsuits emerge in response to the environmental challenges posed by traditional neoprene wetsuits.

    1
    • George Kariuki

      2 w

      This is exactly the kind of innovation we need for a sustainable future. Patagonia closing the loop on wetsuits with recycled carbon black is a game changer. ♻️

      2
      • johnte ndeto

        2 w

        By breaking the cycle of single-use products, such innovation not only reduces waste but also lessens the demand for petroleum-based materials, aligning with sustainability goals.

        3
        • Joseph Githinji

          2 w

          @johnte_ndeto Great to see Patagonia focused on the ultimate goal of creating a livable environment for all.

          2
        • walter lungayi

          2 w

          Very impressive!! This signifies a shift towards more sustainable product design and manufacturing. This innovation has the potential to minimize waste and resource depletion, aligning with the growing demand for environmentally responsible solutions in the apparel industry.

          5
          • Joseph Githinji

            2 w

            @walter_lungayi It's for sure a great milestone in the manufacturing sector that will go a long way in creating a sustainable future.

            2
            • johnte ndeto

              2 w

              @walter_lungayi it opens up opportunities for circular economy models

              1
            • Sarah Chabane

              2 w

              Super cool! It feels like all clothes should be made to last forever

              7
              • johnte ndeto

                2 w

                @sarah_chabane_874 Creating an endlessly reusable wetsuit is a fantastic idea, especially considering the environmental impact of traditional neoprene wetsuits

                2
              • Joseph Githinji

                2 w

                This is a great avenue to aid in reducing carbon emissions and push through a sustainable environment by embracing circular economy.

                7
                • johnte ndeto

                  2 w

                  @joseph_githinji the wetsuit market will be offering a more eco-friendly alternative, appealing to environmentally conscious consumers

                  2

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