Introducing FreezeCycle, the Freeze Wetsuit Recycling Scheme. We’ve started a working partnership with Loved&Upcycled to take your old neoprene and turn it into something rad. In return, you’ll get some welcome discount off some new stuff from Freeze and Loved&Upcycled. Read on to find out the whole story…
How eco-friendly is the surf industry?
For a sport that is almost entirely dependent on the world’s intricate eco-systems, surfing is an ironically harmful pastime. A return trip from the UK to Indonesia will produce about 2 tonnes of CO2e, and that’s before you add taxis, cars, and any other motorised travel. But that’s not the only harmful by-product of the surfing industry - wetsuit, board, and wax production all have adverse effects. Let’s find out some more…
Neoprene - ‘Everything about it is harmful’
Neoprene production is essentially the ‘chlorinating and [polymerisation of] butadiene, a petrochemical refined from crude oil’. Crude oil is a non-sustainable resource, the collection and production of which, has a huge effect on our environment. The question then, is how can we reduce this environmental impact?
A ripple upon the seas of change…
Wetsuit production is becoming increasingly more environmentally friendly. The development of plant-based neoprene substitutes has led to a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by ‘up to 80%’ in some cases. Over the past few years the entire surf industry has begun the lengthy process of shifting its production methods towards more sustainable goals. Recycled surfboard blanks, eco-resins, and more efficient techniques for fabric dyeing and production are all beneficial in reducing the surf industry’s eco-impact.
…but only an ankle-biter.
We’re certainly heading in the right direction when it comes to manufacturing processes and carbon emissions but there’s still a way to go yet. Even if a product is 100% sourced from sustainable sources there will still be one looming problem – where does it go once it’s stopped being useful? Neoprene was first ‘used to line the bottoms of landfills, a telling indicator of its biodegradability.’ Neoprene takes decades to degrade, so it’s plausible to say that there’s an enormous quantity of dead neoprene just hanging around in landfills, and it will be for quite a few years to come.
A losing paddle?
It would take a monumental effort to completely eradicate post-consumer waste from surfing, as Jock Serong says, ‘a committed surfer might throw out a board, two wetsuits, a kilo of wax and four leashes a year, and their only destination is landfill’. However, one dedicated company, Loved&Upcycled are working together to tackle the rising tide of post-consumer surf waste. This dedicated group of friends have turned their skills to creating new products from old kites, wetsuits, bike-tubes, and other outdoor sports gear.
Freeze x Loved&Upcycled
The story of Loved&Upcycled certainly struck a chord with us at Freeze HQ and we’re stoked to announce that we’ll be working together on our new FreezeCycle wetsuit recycling scheme! We’ll be sending ex-wetsuits to the lovely folks at Loved&Upcycled to turn into fancy new things like wallets, laptop cases, and bags. Check out their Ruggidy Laptop Sleeve.
A scratchy-back situation.
This is where it gets good for you – we’ll be collecting your old neoprene at our shop and sending it on to get upcycled. Hopefully you’ll sleep easy knowing your old wetsuit will be put to good use, but we’re sweetening the deal by offering you a 10% discount on any wetsuit in stock in exchange for your used neoprene.* If that wasn’t enough then Loved&Upcycled will also be offering 15% off their stuff. Take a look here.
*We’ll be starting out with in-store drop offs only, but we hope to launch a UK-wide scheme as soon as possible.
We’re always here.
As always, if you have any further questions or queries then don’t hesitate to get in touch! Follow us on social media for regular updates.
Terms and Conditions
Old wetsuits must be clean and dry when you bring them in. 10% Discount is applicable to wetsuits, wetsuit boots, wetsuit gloves, and wetsuit hoods only. Discount will be applied over and above the price of the item.
Quotes from patagonia/yulex.html and Toxic Truths at the Heart of Surfing by Jock Serong