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De Soto Sport #PassOnPlastic and Other Caring Measures

De Soto Sport has always been aware of its impact on our environment and our community.  As far back as the early 1990’s we have been making garments out of recycled materials and doing simple things such as turning off lights and using both sides of paper.  While waste is inevitable, we have minimized our waste and encouraged recycling, maximized sustainability and conservation in a number of ways.  

In 2018, with the more recent pushback on plastic, De Soto jumped on the #passonplastic bandwagon.  In 2006, we partnered with #ThinkSport to produce stainless steel water bottles. Over 8 metric tons of plastic are dumped into oceans annually!  There are five large plastic patches in our ocean.  The one between Hawaii, the championship race of triathlon, and California, the birthplace of California, is the size of Texas!  Seeing the damage it does to our oceans, which many of us, as triathletes, love on a daily basis, was frightening.  

So in May of 2018, we phased out 75% all plastic at our office.  We no longer use package product in plastic bags from our storefont.  We have also eliminated plastic cutlery and plates, for daily lunches.  Also, as we traveled to our retailers, we asked them to please consider accepting our product, not wrapped in poly bags.  Although our bags are recycled, the sheer number of plastic must be reduced in our world.  We want to be a part of the movement and want to keep our oceans and earth clean. 

In 2011, we reduced our paper consumption by 75% over the previous year by doing the following:

  • Eliminating paper invoices, return forms, receipts, orders and note pads. It's all electronic now.  And though it still confuses some of our customers because "I didn't get a receipt in my box" still in 2018, it is going strong.
  • Eliminated our paper catalog and all of our hangtags are made of recycled paper.
  • We have implemented a direct deposit program with all employees so paychecks are a thing of the past.

We have replaced our studio track lights with energy-efficient low voltage lights. This will reduce our energy consumption for lighting by more than 80% per year in the future. Our nextdoor neighbors, Efficient Lighting, performed great work!

Our Company founder initiated a recycling program for our entire industrial complex. This includes 

  • Dedicated dumpsters throughout the complex for paper/cardboard, glass, and aluminum, with composting soon to follow.
  • Aggressive programs to minimize our current consumption of resources.

We also reinvent, renew, re-purpose, reuse, and up-cycle. We create a multitude of accessories from leftover fabric and rubber that would be considered by other companies as scrap and therefore thrown away. A few examples would are -

  • Helmet beanies
  • Timing chip straps
  • Toe covers
  • Seat pads
  • Swim caps
  • Trishort pads
  • Sweatbands for caps

When a product is used without modification of its original intended use, we are reusing.  We do this in many ways:

  • We began a program where we donate product from seasons past to select high school kids. They sell the product to help raise money for a college startup fund.
  • We donate a large portion of our leftover fabric and threads to a couple of local organizations that train homeless and low-income people for careers.  Who knows?...Maybe one of them will start a clothing company one day.
  • We reuse boxes, bubble wrap, plastic bags, and even envelopes to ship out product to and from our suppliers, retailers and customers.

San Diego enjoys beautiful weather year round with an average daily coastal temperature of 70.5º (21.4 degrees Celsius). A marked feature of the climate is the wide variation in temperature within short distances due to the topography of the land. As a result, in the warmer months of summer and fall, you can pretty much count that for every mile you live inland from the coast, you add 1 degree to the temperature.  The De Soto Headquarters is 5 miles from the coast nestled at the top of a canyon that blows in ocean breezes, so our temps average to be 75 degrees.  Our building faces south and is constructed with sunshades to the south. This creates warmth during the winter when the sun is lower in the sky. It also shades us in the summer when the sun is higher. All these conditions mean it is rare that we need to turn on heaters in the winter or air conditioning in the summer. Efficient temperature planning!

We have recently replaced leaky roof ducts with new ones, and then resurfaced our roof and sundeck for better insulation on hot and cold days.  The resurface is the first phase of reinforcing the roof to support solar panels, which we plan on installing in the near future.

Social Responsibility @De Soto Sport is more than just recycling and conservation. We live a different type of wild life!

Employees, technology, business partners, and athletes:

Amidst the tough economic climate that has hit our country over the past 5 years, the owners have kept a promise to his employees that there would be no downsizing, no reduced hours, and no layoffs.  They have not only kept their promise, but has also increased the size of the workforce at De Soto Sport by 20% in less than a six-months period.

During the holidays, if we all plan correctly, the Team takes the week off between Christmas and the New Year, to get some much deserved rest and relaxation and to enjoy some time with family. Full-time De Soto employees also receive a full-coverage medical insurance plan subsidized almost entirely by the company, monthly company healthy lunch gatherings, and a FLEX plan for pretax medical, dental, vision and childcare expenses.

De Soto has raised and donated tens of thousands of dollars to the following charities:

  • Tri4Japan
  • Monarch Schools for Homeless Children
  • Project Access
  • Challenged Athletes Foundation
  • Trisomy 18 Foundation
  • American Cancer Society
  • Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
  • National Multiple Sclerosis Society
  • American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
  • World Society for the Protection of Animals
  • Friends of County Animal Shelters
  • Friends of the Humane Society of Tijuana
  • Surfrider Foundation
  • Encinitas Family YMCA
  • La Jolla YMCA
  • Wounded Warrior Project
  • Save the Narragansett Bay
  • UNICEF for the Famine Relief of Children
  • Miracles for Kids
  • Surf Lifesaving del Sur
  • Syrian Medical Society

Plastic - Our water bottles are made of stainless steel by the cutting edge company, ThinkSport, which takes pride in caring for the athlete and the environment, just as we do. Partnering with like-minded businesses and building the community is our top concern! 

Bonding Agents - Our wetsuit bonding agents are non-toxic and MEKF free.  MEKF (Methyl Ethyl Ketone Formaldehyde) is a cancer-producing agent that is present in many types of adhesives and resins. While many manufacturers are not aware of this dangerous chemical, we take great pride in being able to claim that we are the first, and may be the only, triathlon wetsuit company to prohibit the use of glue that contains this substance in our production facility. In fact the company that supplies us with our glue prohibits MEKF in their facility too!

Inks and dyes – We color our fabrics with no VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) dyes. Find another technical apparel manufacture that does that!   

Zippers – In 2018, we launched the first ever-recycled zipper in our GreenGoma wetsuit.

GreenGoma™ Limestone Rubber Technology - Until recently all triathlon wetsuits were made of petroleum.  We are the first in the industry to introduce limestone rubber into our wetsuits.  All T1 Wetsuits incorporate GreenGoma™ limestone rubber technology.  We have seamlessly replaced one rubber with another that is more buoyant, helps you swim faster, and lasts longer. If nothing else were to change, you will have a better-performing product with less detriment to the environment, which is always our goal.

SIPE: Swimming Induced Pulmonary Edema, or SIPE, is an emerging condition that affects athletes in the swim portion of triathlon events. 

Symptoms include:

  • Marked respiratory distress
  • Wet-sounding popping or crackling in the lungs with breathing
  • A “junky” rattling cough
  • And the hallmark; coughing up pink, frothy blood-tinged sputum 

When it occurs during exercise, one of the first sensations is shortness of breath that is substantially out of proportion to the effort being expended. SIPE is believed to occur from a combination of factors that creates what can be thought of as a “perfect storm” that leads to “capillary leak". There is not a lot of publicity given to SIPE. Perhaps there is not enough information published at this point. We are learning more about this condition every day and are actively working to expand our knowledge base of possible common triggers.  De Soto is the first and only company to work along side a cardiologist named Dr. Charles C. Miller to develop a wetsuit that reduces, or entirely eliminates the onset of this medical condition. T1 Wetsuits is the only brand proven to aid those affected with SIPE.  For more information, click here:

Plastic Facts Source:

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