Cornwall LivingIssue #115
Fourth Element introduces a wetsuit that truly embodies their OceanPositive vision, designed for water lovers and ocean enthusiasts.
As a 12-year-old boy growing up in the coastal town of Porthleven, fourth element’s founder Paul Strike spent seemingly endless days in and on the water. Countless hours snorkelling and freediving led to a passion for the sea that nearly 50 years on drives the innovation of this emerging Cornish brand – designing sustainable products using recycled marine plastics and, its most recent wetsuit, the Surface – a truly OceanPositive suit for every ocean enthusiast.
OceanPositive is a concept of which fourth element is justifiably proud. A concept that has been adopted by other brands and organisations, OceanPositive describes products and practices designed to limit impact on the ocean environment. This pursuit is firmly at the heart of fourth element which has grown to become one of the world’s leading dive brands and increasingly part of the consciousness of water lovers and ocean enthusiasts, from open water swimmers to paddleboarders.
“Our passion for the sea was the reason we started fourth element in 1999, but since then we have become increasingly aware of the pressures that are placed on our environment and the responsibility we have as a company to work to protect the ocean. In 2014 we reached the conclusion that we could not just talk about this, we had to act. We have made some huge adjustments in recent years and we’re proud of how far we’ve come, but we know there’s still a way to go,” says Paul, Managing Director and Head of Research and Development.
“Being OceanPositive stems from not just what we do in the ocean but also what we do in our everyday lives. From the garments we produce to the packaging they are in and the projects that we support along the way, everything we do leads to ensuring a more sustainable business that is good for the ocean.”
The vision could not be more clearly embodied than in the Surface wetsuit – a suit made from Yulex Pure™, a certified sustainable 100% plant-based alternative to neoprene, lined with fabrics made from recycled post-consumer plastic bottles. It’s perfect for surface watersports such as paddleboarding and swimming, as well as snorkelling and freediving. This is a suit grown, not made, and designed to have minimal impact on the ocean.