All photography enthusiasts know this material. The neoprene cases they adhere perfectly to the camera body and protect it from bumps and scratches. The neoprene for a long time it was used for everything, even to make diving suits! It is a very versatile material, it's a pity that the neoprene is a substance a risk to human health. The neoprene is a synthetic rubber made from potentially carcinogenic chemicals, this material is "famous”To contain formaldehyde, lead and VOCs. The neoprene his explicit toxicity in contact with human skin, which is why divers should be more than happy with this new discovery.
For years, conscious manufacturers have been looking for alternatives to neoprene, progress has been made, but all alternatives synthesized so far contain questionable petroleum products and compounds. Finally a novelty comes from the “Patagonia” brand. The alternative to neoprene it is completely green and derives from plants.
Patagonia, working in partnership with Yulex Corporation (a company that develops clean technologies based on agricultural biomaterials) has managed to give life to a material based on guayule and biorubber. The biorubber is the traditional alternative to petroleum products while the guayule is the real innovation.
After four years of collaboration, the partnership unveiled a wetsuit made 60 percent from guayule, without compromising any of the key features of the neoprene such as resistance to high temperatures and reactions to water. The guayule is a shrub that grows in the desert, its cultivation requires very little water, it does not need pesticides and in comparison with the neoprene has a very clean manufacturing process!
“Our goal is to obtain a formula that is 100% vegetable, but we believe that for now, this new material can be a big step forward, also to make the world understand that there is always a green alternative ", said Jason McCaffrey, director of Patagonia. "This is only the first step, we hope that other brands can embrace our same cause and field alternative solutions to the neoprene that is traditionally used for the production of wetsuits."
Initially, this new material will be available only in Japan but with spring 2013 it will be distributed in the USA and only later in Europe.