The arrival of new Billabong kit is exciting every year, but this year there’s a little something extra to shout about. A big something extra, actually. For the very first time, every single Billabong men’s and women’s wetsuit has been made with recycled jerseys, liners and foam.
The sustainable twist repurposes millions of plastic bottles from our oceans and landfills, and is another big move from Billabong, whose entire boardshorts line is already made from recycled P.E.T. plastics.
“We’ve been making a lot of progress on this front over the past couple of years,” says Global Wetsuit Director Scott Boot, “but we’ve found some new ways to incorporate even more recycled materials into every style of suit we make. This includes recycled plastics, scrap lycra and upcycled car tires. This is the first time that our entire line reaches a minimum threshold of 80% recycled materials, with some suits as high as 100% recycled materials.”
At the top of the range, the Billabong Furnace Natural includes some extra, stand-out features that are really going to change the game.
An enzyme called CICLO has been added to the outer fabric of the wetsuit, which helps it to break down once its glory days are over and it ends up in the ground. It essentially allows synthetic plastic-based fibres to behave more like natural fibres, so this technology massively reduces plastic microfiber pollution and plastic accumulation in landfills. “Made to last” doesn’t have to mean “here forever”.
Yulex® Natural Rubber is 85% Natural rubber and 15% Synthetic stabilization. The new formulation is far superior to previous iterations of the natural rubber and also offers an impressive 25% increase in flexibility and reduction in weight.
The natural rubber is sourced from FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified by the Rainforest Alliance.
As well as this impressive, and much needed, commitment to creating more sustainable wetsuits, Billabong are also doubling down on the superpower-like properties of Graphene. The lightest, strongest and most heat-conductive material in the world won a Nobel Prize in 2010 and has had a dramatic effect on a wide range of industries, from aeronautics to consumer electronics to apparel. Infused into the linings of Billabong’s wetsuits exclusively for the first time in 2019, it’s been proven in independent studies to heat up faster and retain heat for up to twice as long as traditional thermal liners.
“It seriously feels like you’re surfing in flannel pajamas,” says Billabong team rider and World Surf League star Griffin Colapinto. “I was literally sweating in Alaska even though I was surrounded by icebergs.”
If you’re interested, and we can’t see why you wouldn’t be, let’s talk you through the range.
The Billabong Wetsuit key styles include:
There’s a variety of thicknesses and built-in hood options available at each level, but the really brilliant thing is that now, regardless of which suit you go for, you know you’ll be picking a suit made from recycled materials.
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