After the delivery delays and poor sell-in of last summer, was 2022 a bad year for spring-summer wetsuits? And how is 2023 doing so far
The main issue is inventory. There was a gold rush in production in 2022 which created an inevitable overstock. Sales are moving but it will take some time to move through the inventory in the market.
What are the biggest trends in buying habits nowadays? Buy less often but high end, go for cheap options, wait for sales period…
It’s hard to generalise. There’s a core buyer that will still buy what they need and a tourist market that will buy on price. The middle ground is fairly fickle – currently discounting seems to be the biggest influencer on these buyers.
The women category has energized summer wetsuit designs with the outbreak of multiple silhouettes (long jane, short john, wetsuit pants, etc.). Is this just a Insta fad or groundswell trend?
It’s really good to see the Women’s market growing, it’s allowing us to implement a lot of the innovation that we’ve wanted to bring into this category. Some of the prints will move in and out quickly but the overall direction is fairly clear.
Which style are the customer favorites nowadays: fullsuit, short sleeve, springsuit, fancy styles?
Full suit is king. It’s a necessity item for surfers in temperate to cold waters. Of course warm waters and other activities demand other styles but the majority is full suit for surfing.
Which are your key innovations in materials& constructions for SS24?
Natural FriendlyPrene. This is kind of a big deal – we’ve sourced a plant based neoprene to use with the Eco One additive for enhanced biodegradability, in our added durability design. So a more eco source, a longer product lifespan and less post consumer impact. Plus, we’ve solved both the performance and price issues that have prevented eco neoprenes from really making a large impact in the market. Our Mission Eco model is a high performance, realistically affordable eco wetsuit.
Quick colors/graphics focus: will wetsuits mimick the surf apparel for SS24 with a comeback of bold colors?
Depending on the category. Full suits generally remain function led. Womens and Kids have more color, especially into the warmer water pieces.
Apart from the material sourcing and production addressed in question #5, do you implement complementary durability campaigns? (partnerships, give-back actions, recycling…)