The World's first neoprene alternative wetsuit based on 100% certified natural rubber

  • DECATHLON is working to shift production and consumption models towards circular economies in line with its sustainability commitments.
  • The company is breaking new ground with the launch of Yulex100, the first and currently only alternative to neoprene made from 100% certified natural rubber.
  • This neoprene alternative will first be expanded to surf wetsuits and snorkeling tops.

Developing the first neoprene alternative wetsuit

For decades, watersports lovers had no alternative but to use neoprene wetsuits, despite their environmental impact. Alternatives to neoprene do exist on the market, such as wetsuits made from 85% natural rubber and 15% synthetic rubber, however DECATHLON partnered with American-based company, Yulex, to push those boundaries further.

After two years of rigorous research, including over 50 lab tests and 50 different formulas, the company has succeeded in producing the first neoprene alternative that is entirely free of synthetic rubber, sourced exclusively from PEFC® or FSC® certified forests.

This revolutionary material provides an 80% reduction in CO2 eq. emissions compared with neoprene foam and it remains just as light, warm, durable and stretchy, meeting all the technical requirements of users. As DECATHLON is dedicated to making sports accessible and responsible, maintaining the same affordability was also key in leading the wave of change in the watersports industry.

The first and only alternative to neoprene made from 100% certified natural rubber, Yulex100 will be initially introduced in DECATHLON’s beginner junior shorty range, which accounted for 34% of the surf wetsuits sales in 2023, and in the snorkeling tops, representing 27% of the diving and snorkeling sales for the company.
This significant shift marks the beginning of a journey to eliminate neoprene from DECATHLON ‘s entire wetsuit range. Future expansions are planned for adult ranges and technical solutions are actively being explored by our teams for other watersports like diving and open-water swimming that require specific technical solutions.

Anna Turrell, Chief Sustainability Officer at DECATHLON: “As the world's largest sporting goods brand and retailer, we believe in reshaping the way we do business to reduce the impact we have on the planet. To do this requires a rewiring of the way we think and act as a business. Today, we’re proud to launch Yulex100 which represents an industrial revolution in watersports equipment, demonstrating our unwavering commitment to environmental stewardship and innovation”

Charting a more sustainable future for watersports

Watersports are on the front line when it comes to observing the effects of climate change and pollution. Taking action is vital to the preservation of our active way of life.
This is the reason why DECATHLON continuously strives to develop products that are more sustainable by design and to use innovative materials that reduce our impact on the environment.

A true innovation hub, the Watersports Design Center, located in Hendaye (France) brings together designers, engineers, product managers, prototype specialists and more to create groundbreaking, less impactful products.
From eliminating elastane in swimwear for easier recycling to making kayaks, stand-up paddles, and softboards repairable, DECATHLON constantly seeks ways to increase the usage rate of its products and ensure everyone in the value chain is dedicated to reducing its environmental footprint.

Committed to fostering environmental responsibility from conception to production, the Watersports Centre has registered 37 innovations and over 205 patents, developing nearly 1,000 prototypes annually.

Stéphane Saigre, DECATHLON Watersports Director : "Water is an element that is as fascinating as it is frightening, and as attractive as it is inaccessible. DECATHLON is well aware of this and this is why our watersports teams are committed to developing ‘feel confident’ products and experiences to allow as many people as possible around the world to take the plunge and enjoy watersports. Nature is our playground, we work everyday to imagine solutions that are more respectful for our planet."

Click here to find out more about Yulex1OO.
Click here to find out more about our commitments.


A global multi-specialist sports brand catering for everyone from beginners to top athletes, Decathlon is an innovative manufacturer of sporting goods for all skill levels.

With 101,000 teammates and 1,750 stores worldwide,  DECATHLON and its teams have been working ever since 1976 to fulfill an ongoing ambition: Move people through the wonders of sport, to help them be healthier and happier in a sustainable future.

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Olivier PEDRO-JOSE - Global Head of Media & Public Relations

Rafaële DEGUEHEGNY - Sustainability Public Relations Manager

Damien DE BLIGNIERES - Watersports Marketing Communication Director