Originally our YULEX foam was made from a U.S. desert latex producing shrub called Guayule. It’s the rubber plant from which we derive our name. Indeed it does look like a “weed".
We offered "first mover" exclusive rights for the foam to Patagonia, but they turned it down immediately, wanting to “give it away” to the industry in the hopes that other companies would join them and move away from neoprene.
When we transitioned to Hevea (the “rubber tree”), we knew naturally occurring forests were being deforested and income crops like large rubber plantations were replacing them. Hence this was the start of when Yulex started to develop and source from those plantations that had the seal of sustainable forest management practices by Forest Stewardship Council® (not that they are the only certification standard). Hence, the importance of Yulex certified supply chains starting from the raw material (natural rubber), the traders, the processors, and manufacturers who produce our foams. Do less harm.
We have been working well over a decade to make neoprene a thing of the past. Since the inception of the partnership, we and Patagonia have worked to help make the foams lighter, stronger and stretchier – so performance is not the excuse. Fast forward to 2022 and more wetsuit brands are making the switch to Yulex foam and becoming neoprene-free.
Do less harm.