Words by: Co Founder Matthew Larson
Recently, I’ve had many conversations with devoted customers asking how we use new alternative eco-friendly materials without sacrificing the longevity we educated our customer to expect. These are loyal customers who know the Matuse story, our ethos, how we view sustainable products, and why.
In 2006, Matuse introduced, and continues to build, the best of the best wetsuits by using a premium material we call Geoprene, aka the crème de la crème of Japanese Limestone rubber. To us, longevity is sustainability, and when you build a product with premium materials, detail, and thought, you get a longer lasting product experience that develops a connection to you. Learning from years of building Geoprene products gave us the confidence to improve product expectations in more “environmentally friendly” materials that typically don’t have the longevity we like to see in a finished product. The obvious irony is that something that is supposedly more friendly to our earth breaks down much faster —so much so, we felt that we were going against the very mantra of Matuse’s mission statement of how and why we build anything. What we came to realize is that we had to give ourselves permission to fail with these materials, because at the core of Matuse’s view of the world is the passion to build things that last longer.
Our goal was to solve this problem and improve the life expectancy of these materials. To explore this, we started to build wetsuits from a material we call Geoflex. The materials and construction are considered to be more environmentally friendly because they use water-based glues for seams and laminations, along with recycled Nylons and rubber. We know that Limestone rubber is an alternative to oil-based rubber, but it’s not the end of the path for sustainable building.
We design for longevity and performance and take this responsibility seriously no matter what materials we use. With every new product or textile we introduce, we continually follow its evolution and interactions, how it succeeds or fails, and move forward with this information to improve experience without sacrificing durability. Today, our holistic and informed approach to building better experiences is supported by learning from both the innovative materials of tomorrow and the reliable technology we have available today.
In the end, we want to create connections with our products, and this is done through time — the longer we keep a product the closer we feel to it. This is where a connection happens with an inanimate object that now shares memories with us, making it harder to simply toss out. The longer you have it, the more you’ll love it. Today, I am proud to say that our new line of Geoflex rubber products, along with our premium line of Geoprene, are some of the longest lasting wetsuits you will find in the world.