A necessary investment for surfers and anyone braving frigid waters, wetsuits have undergone serious improvements of late in terms of functionality, warmth and sustainability. In tune with Patagonia’s plant-based wetsuit, the team at Orange County-based Vissla have announced a new Japanese Wetsuit, handmade from a 100% limestone polychloroprene. Partnering with premium Japanese wetsuit-maker BeWet, the celebrated company sources limestone from nearby Mount Kurohime, bringing millions of years of plankton back into the ocean. To make the process even more environmentally compelling, the heat used to produce the material comes from hydroelectric power, while BeWet’s factory itself runs almost entirely on solar energy.
The sustainable limestone material contributes to maintaining higher core temperatures at a lower weight while providing greater flexibility than traditional petroleum-based neoprene. This means that the suit will not only stand up in cooler temperatures better than its peers, it will also make for a better surfing experience, reminiscent of the wetsuit-free days of summer. The 3/2 model—intended for cool water—sells for $700 while the thicker 4/3 model will get you paddling out in the throes of winter for most locales and costs $750.
Images courtesy of Vissla