Rip Curl launches wetsuit recycling program

Sportswear retailer Rip Curl has launched Australia’s first wetsuit recycling program in partnership with TerraCycle.

Surfers can now recycle their surf branded wetsuit at selected Rip Curl stores across Victoria, NSW, Queensland and WA. According to the company, recycled rubber will be repurposed for use in the safety attenuation layer of soft fall matting used at playgrounds and outdoor gyms.

“TerraCycle has a huge network and were able to assist us in finding the best possible solution for recycling used wetsuit neoprene,” Shasta O’Loughlin, environmental, social and governance manager at Rip Curl, said.

“Once the program has proven itself here at home, we are excited to explore a global expansion. We want to give all surfers the opportunity to recycle their old wetsuits.”

Rip Curl will accept any surf branded wetsuit, excluding booties, gloves, hoods or heavy diving dry suits. The brand launched a local wetsuit recycling program at its flagship store in Torquay, Victoria, as a test in 2018.

“The response was overwhelming, and the demand was clearly there,” O’Loughlin said.

“We want to ensure we extend the life of those products and repurpose them into a second commodity. Our nation-wide expansion and partnership with TerraCycle is the next big step in this space.”

This story first appeared on our sister publication Inside Retail