It’s the surf industry equivalent of Tesla’s recent move to open up their patents to competitors and go “open source.” Patagonia wants to share their weed.
With a flashy ad campaign tagline: “We have the best weed in town, and we’re giving it away,” Patagonia announced they’re going to share their new technology that allows them to create rubber wetsuits from the guayule plant, a move that could totally change the surf industry. It’s big.
Wetsuits are made from oil and it’s one of the uncomfortable environmental facts of surfing, a sport that is really all about enjoying the natural world. In the past Patagonia has taken on board design, protecting surf breaks, and a myriad of other environmental issues and now they’re leading the way with this.
From the release:
“As Patagonia pushes towards making a suit from 100% guayule, eliminating the need for neoprene completely, the company has made this proprietary, game-changing biorubber available to the rest of the surf industry. Reason being: when volume goes up, price goes down, and more surfers can choose to purchase less harmful suits. It’s good, smart business.”
I can’t applaud the company enough. I use a Patagonia suit now, with wool lining, that is undoubtedly the best wetsuit I’ve ever worn. It’s flexible, warm and, yes, more expensive. But it’s a price that I have no qualms with.
Here’s to a great company leading by example.