Wetsuit and neoprene recycling with Circular Flow

Join The Circle with Neoprene wetsuit Recycling

By Dave Hanney

Even the most beloved wetsuit will reach breaking point at some stage. Keep your wetsuit alive and turn your old suit into new neoprene with Alpkit and Circular Flow.

Wetsuits and other neoprene products have traditionally been impossible to recycle with an estimated 8,380 tonnes likely to end up in landfill every year.

Circular Flow has created an effective and sustainable solution to recycle neoprene which is the result of six years development in partnership with The University of Chemical Technology and Metallurgy in Bulgaria.

We're delighted to partner with Circular Flow and make it easy to recycle your old wetsuit.

How to recycle your wetsuit

Wetsuit recycling has never been easier:

  • Drop of your wetsuit at one any of our 10 stores or locations or send it direct to us using our returns service
  • We'll sort it and send to Circular Flow
  • Circular Flow will turn your old wetsuit to new neoprene.
  • Alpkit makes new neoprene products using this recycled material

Wetsuit Recycling with Alpkit

Recycling is obviously preferable to landfill but there are other options to consider as well.

Re-use

First up, is re-use. Through Alpkit Continuum, we constantly look at ways for us and our customers to give outdoor gear a longer life and through our network of charitable partners we found a new home for 8 tons of unwanted gear. And given it to people that need it right here in the UK.

Repair

Next, bring your wetsuit in to our Wetsuit Hospital (*cough*, we mean repair station). Repair is always a first option. We can have a look to see if it can be repaired.

Re-purpose

Lastly, if it's well past the point of return, then re-purposing or up-cycling come in to save the day.

We’ve partnered with Dirtbags Climbing, for a number of years now and they are always looking at ways of up-cycling and re-using old kit. Jenny Wood said:

“Being part of the Alpkit Continuum project has been a really positive experience. Not only for us but for the customers who bring old outdoor items in to store, it means they are also able to donate products that aren't necessarily usable again in their current state. As an upcycling project, we can use the items that can't be sent to the charities and therefore saving them from ending up in landfill. Broken, old or unsuitable things like wetsuits, faulty returns or climbing rope: we upcycle these goods. taking the usable components like the buckles, zips and fabric panels that are still good.”

We've partnered with Dirtbags Climbing, who use them to create new products, From laptop bags to ‘human coasters’ (neoprene mats for standing on/getting changed after a swim)!

If re-use, repair or repurpose aren't appropriate then recycle is the way to go.

How to donate your wetsuit

Send us your old wetsuit using our free returns service as Alpkit Foundation will pay the postage:

1. Put your wetsuit into a bag or box, ready to post.
2. Create a mailing label on our Royal Mail Returns Page. Choose Continuum as the reason for your return and type "Continuum" in the order number box. If you'd like the parcel to be collected from your house, Royal Mail will do this for 60p. Just select this option on the screen after you create your label.
3. Print off the label and stick it to your parcel.
4. Drop it off at the Post Office (unless it's being picked up!)
5. Start dreaming about your wetsuit's new life! Maybe you will cross paths again.

Donate your wetsuit now!

Join The Circle ... its not just wetsuits

Through Alpkit Continuum, we constantly look at ways for us and our customers to give outdoor gear a longer life and prevent it from ending up in landfill. Maybe unloved, maybe loved too much and beyond repair!

Current campaigns include:

- down duvets, pillows, sleeping bags and jackets to recycle into new outdoor products with ReDown

- Sleeping Bags to send to the victims of the earthquake in Syria and Turkey with ShelterSuit

- any unwanted outdoor and camping equipment

We’re constantly keeping the journey going by taking all sorts of outdoor equipment and clothing. Check out all the other avenues they take at Alpkit Continuum

8 comments

  • If only other manufacturers would work out end of life recycling we might save our so-called civilisation.
    Many congratulations on your efforts and thank you.

    Jeff GlynJones

    August 25, 2023

  • are you still collecting wet suits for recycling?

    Dionne flatman

    August 19, 2022

  • Hello,
    I was wondering if you ever have any small offcuts that you arent able to use, anything bigger then 5×5cm? I’m an artist and I run a lot of community workshops, neoprene is really great for kids to use to make prints from but I don;t want to buy any new I only want to use neoprene that would otherwise end up in the bin. I would tag you in instagram posts about the events saying you’d donated the neoprene.

    Thanks Alice

    Alice

    November 07, 2022

  • Are you still taking old wetsuits ?

    Vickybutterfield8@gmail.com

    March 20, 2022

  • Are you taking old wetsuits? I didn’t purchase mine through Alpkit. Would you accept those? If so, what should I put for the order number on the label? It’s a required field on the Royal Mail form. Thanks!

    Madie Paterson

    April 18, 2022

  • I have some old wetsuits I would like to donate please advise how I can go about this?

    Tony Miles

    January 31, 2022

  • Hi,
    I have a Ripcurl 4/3 Wetsuite, no damages, that I would like to donate.
    How can I send it to you? What´s the adress?
    Yours, Andy (from germany)

    Andy

    July 18, 2023

  • Heya. Wondering if you guys are still taking old wetsuits. Have a couple with pretty good neoprene but busted seams. Would be delighted to avoid landfill, even if I have to pay postage. Based in Ireland. thanks

    Seadna Burke

    January 10, 2023

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