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Neoprene Wetsuits

In brief, neoprene is a foamed synthetic rubber made through a chemical reaction using chloroprene. It forms into chips, and then baked into loaves, which is cut into sheets, and laminated to nylon to make waterproof wetsuits.

In the 1920's the increasing demand for natural rubber led to escalating prices and a search for a synthetic substitute. In response, Dupont created neoprene in the 1930's, and by the 1950's it had become the leading material for wetsuits.

The problem is that the manufacture of neoprene creates toxic waste at every step, and is non-biodegradable. Approximately 150 tons of neoprene are disposed of each year. Right now, there is no environmental solution, but we can help by buying the best quality and long-lasting wetsuit to cut down on the number produced, and to dispose of it meaningfully through local recyclers.


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