A few months back, we looked at the introduction by Patagonia of merino wool and recycled polyester into wetsuit construction. Read that here.At the time we mentioned that they and others were turning their backs on Petroleum based neoprene and turning instead to limestone to provide the answer. Yamamoto corp. are the manufacturers of this super stretch material that boasts a 95% closed cell impermeability. They supply to 70% of the high end brand named wetsuits in the world. Despite using this material, Patagonia remains fairly uneasy about the use of limestone based neoprene, dont settle for marketing greenwash! Limestone doesnt make a wetsuit more environmentally friendly Reducing dependence on oil and oil-derived chemicals is important. However, the trade-off in this case involves mining, pollution from diesel fuel combustion, and high energy usage Push for new, innovative materials and construction methods, because weve got a long way to go before anyone has a true green wetsuit. Todd Copeland. Whilst applauding Patagonias ambition to find a more sustainable neoprene, we should still recognize that yamamotos limestone based alternative is still a huge step forward. A 23% higher close cell structure than oil derived neoprene means that it is warmer per mm allowing for thinner suits and therefore using less raw material. A maximum elongation of over 480% – almost 7 times that of human skin makes for comfortable and most importantly long lasting suits reducing the turnover rate of wetsuits. These advantages are both good and bad for the future of sustainable wetsuits. Good in so much as this is a more sustainable option that out performs its petroleum based predecessor which we at muchbetteradventures.com contend any new sustainable alternative must do to be considered by the mainstream consumer. Bad in so much as Patagonia and everyone else looking for the next generation of neoprene have a high bar to jump in finding the truly sustainable alternative that has to kick limestone neoprenes ass. To visit just a few of the manufacturers using limestone based neoprene, follow this links below. Patagonia Body Glove Matuse Nemo Seventh Wave NinePlus ( local Cornwall ) and Gul. NB. You will notice that Gul have incorporated bamboo fibre into their Recore 3mm Eco Blindstitch Summer Steamer. Click here for our look at Bamboo fibres.