The birth of the neoprene wetsuit in the 1950's was a game changer for surfers and seafaring enthusiasts alike. An early morning winter chill was no longer an excuse to sleep in and year-round surfing in cooler climates was on the horizon. As clunky and uncomfortable as these early suits were, they laid the foundation for what would ultimately enable surfers in even the coldest waters to stay toasty and nimble.
Manufactured from crude oil dependent petro-chemicals, we've long known the negative environmental implications of neoprene. But, past neoprene alternatives have not performed well, lacking in crucial areas likes flexibility and warmth, so the incentive to switch just wasn't there.
Happily, the tide is turning, and innovations in alternatives to neoprene that are better for the planet have come a long way.
Just as neoprene was a gamechanger for surfers all those years ago, Yulex has come onto the scene proving that renewable materials can offer the same flexibility and performance as neoprene, all while leaving a much lighter footprint on our precious planet.
Our wetsuit collection is proudly made from 2mm thick Yulex natural rubber, offering style and warmth, whether you're surfing the cool spring waters of Southern California to brisk dawn-patrols in the tropics.
Our 2022 collection includes our tried and true favorites in updated colors and prints!
Here are 3 reasons to choose our Yulex wetsuits
1. Responsibly harvested renewable materials!
Yulex natural rubber is ethically and sustainably harvested from the Hevea tree on plantations in the tropics, mostly in Southeast Asia and Central America.
The increasing popularity of natural rubber as a high-performance material applied in a range of applications has bolstered market demand, making it an appealing cash crop. Unfortunately, this popularity is driving deforestation as native forests are being slashed and burned and clear-cut to expand new rubber plantations.
Yulex natural rubber is sourced exclusively from plantations that are certified to Forest Stewardship Council standards by the Rainforest Alliance. The FSC sets strict environmental standards, but also requires that the plantations comply with standards surrounding the long-term social and economic well-being of forest workers and local communities.
FSC certified plantations are proving to other farmers that sustainable forest management is an economically viable model that can actually provide regenerative benefits to the environment while building stronger local communities.
2. Gentler on the Earth at every stage of its life span
It's important to consider the entire life span of the things we use - from the raw materials that go into producing them, to how they're disposed of at the end of its life.
Our Yulex suits are made from natural rubber, a renewable plant-based resource, and creates up to 80% fewer carbon emissions than conventional neoprene.
In fact, hevea trees on sustainable plantations can be viably harvested for up to 35 years and, all the while, are providing a number of environmental services including sequestering carbon, protecting the watershed, and fostering biodiversity.
Since Yulex is a plant-based material, its polymers are biodegradable. Conventional neoprene will never biodegrade and is not easily recycled.
3. Stylish comfort that performs just as well as conventional neoprene
When Yulex wetsuits were first produced, they were made from the guayule rubber plant (hence the name, Yulex), which lacked stretch and flexibility. They were a significant step towards a more environmentally friendly wetsuit option to be sure, but they weren't really practical or comfortable. That factor alone prevented most surfers from making the switch because, at the end of the day, performance is crucial.
When the switch was made to the hevea rubber tree, it proved to produce a much more naturally flexible product. Our suits are formulated with 85% natural rubber, and 15% synthetic rubber sourced from recycled rubber tires, so the flexibility, warmth, and performance is on par with conventional neoprene.
Furthermore, our suits are designed by women, for women, so they're meant to fit women's bodies.
Our newest Yulex wetsuit collection has all of our tried and true styles, with some technical updates and new prints! Shop here