Decathlon is surfing on recycled oyster shells

Posted on 29 September 2016.

The Tribord brand, producing sports and water sports equipment, has developed a surf bootie made with 15% recycled oyster shells.

For several years, Decathlon, Tribord’s parent company, has engaged in a sustainable development approach. The French group has chosen eco-design to reduce the environmental impact of its products - in particular by replacing the PVC in its products with recycled materials. With this in mind the Tribord teams designed some amazing anti-slip booties for surfing, stand up paddling and windsurfing.

The challenge: incorporate as much recycled oyster shell as possible in a water sport bootie

Developed in the Tribord brand research and development center in Hendaye in the Basque region of France, this new water sport bootie was produced in collaboration with a Brittany based company specializing in collecting and recycling shells from the oyster industry. It took more than 18 months to develop this original innovation! The challenge: incorporating as much crushed oyster shell as possible in the product composition while maintaining (or even improving) the properties of the original - made using PVC. In test after test, performance improved in terms of product resistance, board grip and drying time. Eventually the bootie used 15% recycled oyster shells (dried, crushed, ground, and then mixed with the thermoplastic elastomer SEBS and transformed into small balls). Produced in northern France using materials from Brittany, it is 100% "Made in France"!

Although the production cost for oyster shell surf booties is slightly higher than for conventional PVC products, Decathlon was keen to offer them at same price (under €10), proving that it is possible to design a mass produced item that is innovative, environmentally friendly, and affordable. It is now one of the brand’s bestselling models!