Editor’s Note: This feature is presented by our partners at Picture.
Eco-friendly wetsuits and super-stretch don’t usually go hand in hand, especially not at the $300-a-suit price point. “Usually” being the keyword. Picture may have just found a way to nail all three with its new range of Eicoprene wetsuits. We got our hands on a couple of these rad new suits, and were stoked on the way they’re pushing the envelope when it comes to materials, features, and design.
Picture is a brand that’s dedicated to doing things the right way. Since its beginnings in the mountains of France 13 years ago, the brand has worked to reduce its impact as much as possible by using organic cotton, recycled polyester – and since 2021, bio-based polyester – in all of its clothing, and paying attention to every aspect of the supply chain from materials to manufacturing and shipping. Picture even offers a lifetime repair warranty, so your gear can keep kicking for as long as possible to reduce its impact. And some of the company’s newer polyester jackets are 100 percent recyclable, just as easily as a plastic water bottle.
As if the sustainability isn’t enough, Picture is working on fair labor as well, producing 84 percent of its products in the same two factories since it was founded in 2008, and ensuring that all factories they work with participate in the Fair Wear Foundation’s program to improve labor conditions.
Picture dove into the wetsuit manufacturing business this year. As many of you know, wetsuits take a pretty big toll on Mother Earth, so Picture decided to do something about that. The wetsuits are made from an all-new Eicoprene, neoprene derived from old tires, limestone and oyster shells. In fact, these suits are made almost entirely from waste with the yarn used coming from old fishing nets. The only thing that isn’t waste is the water-based, eco-friendly glue that holds everything together. Best of all, Picture says there is no compromise on stretch and flexibility as a result of the eco-friendly construction.
I had to try one out for myself to be sure, and was shocked by the overall flexibility of the suit. Eco suits have a tendency to be a bit stiffer than less-eco-friendly counterparts, but that was hardly the case here. I tried out a 4/3 Equation in my home waters of Northern California, and The Inertia’s Corey Schrimpl tested a 3/2 Equation Flex Skin, which makes use of a stretchier Eicoprene in the arms and shoulders for ultimate paddle-ability.
Both of us were surprised at how stretchy the Eicoprene was. From the get-go, these suits are buttery smooth and the comfy lining not only felt great but kept me toasty in my cold NorCal waters. Corey says the Flex Skin on his 3/2 felt incredible in the arm/shoulder area, with none of the bunching that can occur in other suits. “It truly feels like a second skin,” he told me.
The eco-friendly design is paired with rad futuristic features such as drain holes on the calves to allow water to escape, and small integrated rib pads in the lining of the suit that are actually a godsend for skinny surfers like myself (and Corey as well) without much natural padding to speak of.
“Rib pads should be on every wetsuit in existence!” Corey told me. “Not a session goes by where I don’t get out of the water with red marks on my ribcage from trying to paddle like the pros. These pads prevent that and make the paddle experience much more efficient and comfortable.” I couldn’t agree more.
And then there’s the price-point. For a 4/3, $315 usually doesn’t net you a top-of-the-line suit, especially one that comes with an eco-friendly construction.