Love the sea? Its animals, its beauty? All the fun stuff you can do there? Then you’ll want to support these sustainable surf brands giving back to the oceans
By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
Few people on this planet love our oceans as much as surfers do. I mean, the sea is where surfers are happiest; they love everything about it, from it’s salty spray and mysteriously beautiful flora and fauna to the hush of the waves and push and pull of the tides. No wonder most surfers run, instead of walk, to the sea when they have a surfboard under their arms!
Keeping in line with this ocean adoration, more companies providing gear for the sport are now not only making their products more eco-friendly, but are also contributing funds to charities that help conserve our seas.
Just check out these five great examples of sustainable surf brands below, for example – one of which is owned by one of the world’s most famous surf champs!
Sustainable Surf Brands Giving Back To The Oceans
“The Ocean is Our Playground – It’s Our Responsibility to Protect it!” This is the creed that PurKai abides by. Quite sweetly, we think, the ethical clothing surf manufacturer was conceived and launched by eco-minded father and daughter surfers, Noel and Megan Huelsenbeck. The family business is devoted to the creation of sustainable surfboards made using a proprietary blend of EPS recycled foam and bio-based resin, along with stand up paddle boards that are made using organic, recycled and bio-based materials.
Their sense of social responsibility ensures this is one of those sustainable surf brands that also gives back to the local community. The brand is a member of 1% For the Planet and is also committed to return a minimum of 1% of their revenues to support Ocean Conservation.
Best for: Passionate surfers of all ages and sizes
This is one of the most well-loved sustainable surfwear brands! Patagonia particularly sets an exceptional example in the way it empowers its employees, since the brand shares all profits with those who make their goods. They also offer a program that covers healthcare and college tuition costs for all their employees’ children.
But let’s move on to the oceans! Patagonia really knows how to implement solutions to the environmental crisis. Indeed, all of their collections – be they for snowboarding, skiing, running, or, of course, surfing – are created from fully sustainable materials. These include recycled bottles and fabrics, organic cotton and even recycled fishing nets.
Best for: Truly ethical surf wear made from mostly recycled materials.
Eleven time World Surf League Champion, Kelly Slater and acclaimed designer John Moore joined forces to create one of the few sustainable surfwear brands that would truly “lift the lid on the traditional supply chain and prove you can actually produce great looking wear in a sustainable way.” Today, OuterKnown is making some serious changes to how fashion brands manage labour and environmental challenges.
For example, the brand’s partnership with Fair Trade USA ensures safe, healthy and prosperous working conditions to the people that create the label’s apparel. For every product sold, a percentage goes right back to the workers who made it. As for the oceans, 100% of all profits from OuterKnown’s #ITSNOTOK tee shirts go to support the Ocean Conservancy charity, whose mission is to clean and protect our seas for future generations.
Best for: A little touch of celebrity stardust
What happens when top American sustainable surf brands like Rip Curl join forces with innovative recycling companies in Australia? Pure magic!
TerraCycle, a global leader in recycling hard-to-recycle waste, collaborated with Rip Curl to give new life to used wetsuits. The way it works is this: you basically drop your former wetsuit to a Rip Curl store. TerraCycle then takes over and recycles it into a brand new, yet recycled, wetsuit.
Best for: This is a great example of circularity within the field of beachwear.
This brand is remarkable for the way it takes sustainability at heart. Their eco-policies are extensively explained in Finisterre’s Positive Impact Report. The brand knows that more than half of the oxygen we breathe comes from the marine realm, so they try to protect it every way they can. This sustainable surf brands Nieuwland 3e wetsuit is one of their best sellers. It’s made from Yulex Pure, a natural rubber made with recycled laminates. Surfers love it because it provides a lightweight, high-performance suit without jeopardising the wellbeing of the oceans.
Best for: Innovative, high performing materials
Love the great outdoors? This is one of the best sustainable surf brands for you! They’re specialised in all the gear you need to get fit outdoors, from diving gear to sustainable surf wear. The ecological materials they use are truly mind-blowing. These include limestone based neoprene to dope-dyed yarns. The point is, everything that goes into the wetsuits that come into close contact with your skin and with the water is healthy. It’s a win-win for nature and humans! Their Drylock design is the ultimate wetsuit, since it keeps the body warm for those who want to ride the waves, even in winter.
Best for: Extreme sports men and women
“Creative freedom, a forward-thinking philosophy, and a generation of creators and innovators.” This is how Visual defines itself, and it does abide by this description with its items for surfers. Alongside their wetsuits, all their collections are eco and whimsically inspirational. For example? We love the exotic Cocotex they use for some of their garments. It’s extracted from – you guessed it! – coconuts. This fibre is stretchable, breathable, fights strong odours and looks so good on board-shorts. And if you’re wondering how people carry around all that surfing gear on holidays, the answer here is: Vissla bags! These are also kind to the planet and are phenomenally functional.
Best for: Light, unique fabrics. Taking with you on surfing holidays
Purakai images by Black Owl Media