In 2011, De Soto Sport started producing all T1 Wetsuits with GreenGoma™ a limestone derivative rubber…bye-bye petroleum wetsuits!
Previously, all triathlon wetsuits had been made of petroleum. We are the first in the industry to introduce limestone rubber into our wetsuits, and GreenGoma™ Limestone technology is exclusively used in T1 Wetsuits by De Soto.
So what does this all mean to you?
GreenGoma™ rubber offers better stretch, buoyancy, durability, and insulation with a more closed-cell injected construction thus making it 98.9% water impermeable. So it is lighter, it dries quicker, and lasts longer. The only part of the rubber that gets wet is the new stretch liner that is now made of recycled post-consumer products (like plastic bottles and bags).
We offer two types of GreenGoma™ rubber:
- GreenGoma™ #8 Rubber: a high quality, buoyant, stretchy, and highly durable rubber with a slick composite outer surface skin for speed in the water and fast removal out of the water. It is found in our Black Pearl and Speed Collection models making these pieces superior suits at an affordable price.
- GreenGoma™ #9 Rubber: all the same features as the #8 Rubber above, with a bit more closed cells and better stretch; making it more buoyant. This rubber is found in the First Wave models making these pieces the very best wetsuit money can buy. Yet you will still find the First Wave to be more affordably priced than other brands.
So is this rubber environmentally friendly? Is it a “green” wetsuit?
We have seamlessly replaced one rubber with another that is better, 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.
Please allow us to be perfectly upfront. In 2011 we were the first company in the swimming and triathlon industries to use this technology, but there are a handful of companies in the surf industry manufacturing wetsuits out of limestone rubber and some then market them as environmentally-friendly. Currently, wetsuit rubber is either made of petroleum, which begins with oil exploration and drilling, or, in the alternative, made of limestone, which begins with mining. Both petroleum and limestone have taken hundreds of thousands of years to produce and both are nonrenewable resources; both are in limited supply on our earth, require heat, and create pollution and waste to refine into a finished product. So for one to claim that a limestone wetsuit is “green” is just not true, at least not yet.
In light of the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, it is apparent that limestone is cleaner when one considers the risk of environmental disasters. GreenGoma™ uses much less heat to refine it as compared to its petroleum counterpart. This is a step in the right direction.
In order for us to step away from limestone in the future, we needed to first step away from petroleum and look for other “greener” options. The idea of trying to create a green wetsuit inspired us to change to recycled internal fabrics with no VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) dyes. The use of non-toxic laminates and adhesives during the assembly process are additional steps in our goal. These adhesives are stronger and more flexible. Finally, the wetsuit zipper is made of recycled materials.
As for recyclability and sustainability, no wetsuit rubber in the world is completely recyclable. Yes, old triathlon wetsuits can be re-used for other sports or can be cut up and used as potholders, insulation and even be turned into beer and soft drink koozies. For now, the most obvious form of sustainability is simply that we have created a wetsuit that will last longer, so you will not have to replace it as soon.
Before any of us can swim 2.4 miles, we first need to get across the length of a pool. When it comes to making a greener wetsuit, we are the first to dive in!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
QUESTION: My current T1 Wetsuit for Christmas of 2011. Is this one made out of petroleum, or is it made out of GreenGoma™?
ANSWER: Yours is GreenGoma! Any T1 Wetsuit delivered from us after June 15, 2011, is made of GreenGoma™.
QUESTION: I have two T1 Wetsuits, one that is GreenGoma and one that is not. I can barely tell the difference although the GreenGoma does feel more comfortable when I put it on. Am I correct that they should be the same size?
ANSWER: If your body measurements have not changed, then yes, they should be the same size. If you cannot tell much of a difference then we accomplished our goal! We wanted this change to be seamless. Our primary goal was to replicate the fit, float, speed, and performance all without making previous T1 Wetsuits obsolete. GreenGoma™ rubber will probably feel a bit more supple, but not any more stretchy. It will absorb less water and will last longer. That is of what we are certain.
QUESTION: Other brands claim to have a rubber that stretches more. Isn’t this more advantageous?
ANSWER: We can answer that in a very simple way. There is only so much that rubber can stretch in order for it not to be so loose that you would need to wear a smaller size. (You may need to read that last sentence a few times.) Remember that a wetsuit cannot be loose on you or it will fill up with water, which may happen if rubber stretches too much. If this happens you will not stay warm and you will not swim as fast. If you need to wear a smaller size, then you are essentially wearing less rubber, which means less buoyancy, which means less speed.