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?
2023 started off relatively cold which was good for thicker wetsuits and summer started late. As we are a wind driven brand and our suits are made for windsports (we are not making specialized surfing wetsuits but specialized windsports suits) the wind is an important factor for good sales.
What are the biggest trends in buying habits nowadays? Buy less often but high end, go for cheap options, wait for sales period…
We see that the trend is up, at least for our wetsuits customers appreciate our quality, durability and buy slightly higher priced suits. We also do not make fashionable wetsuits with lots of prints and designs which are either in or out of fashion. Prolimit stands for quality, durability and stretchy comfortable wetsuits in which we do not compromise for fashion statements.
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?
Exactly. That is why our female wetsuits are developed by a female wetsuit team. Prolimit Pure Girl ranges. We offer long jane, short jane, pants, swimsuits since many, many years.
Which style are the customer favorites nowadays: fullsuit, short sleeve, springsuit, fancy styles?
Many of our customers wear darker wetsuits, Blue, Black, Grey are 90% of the market and full wetsuits in 6mm, 5mm, 4mm and 3mm in GBS are favorite. Shorties is still a very popular item and on our Prolimit Pure ranges we see the Sunset model gaining popularity, Long sleeve, short legs).
Which are your key innovations in materials& constructions for SS24?
Prolimit PF-2 is the leading range in our line for the highest possible level in Sustainable wetsuits on the market. Everything what can be done to create a sustainable wetsuit is packed in there and received the FSC approval. Natural rubber, recycled materials, PET bottles and waterbased glues and all the experience gained is used for our other ranges. New in the Vapor and Mercury/OxyGen wetsuit is the Oystershell based neoprene, using Oysters instead of limestone as a base. Our TR, Thermal Rebound, layer in our wetsuit is unique, gives so much heat reflection and is unmatched in the industry.
Quick colors/graphics focus: will wetsuits mimick the surf apparel for SS24 with a comeback of bold colors?
At Prolimit we believe construction, durability and stretch are key. Bold colors can be done but greatly reduce the stretch of the fabric. Another option is printing or digitally printing. It is not very environmentally friendly and reduces the stretch a lot causing not only a less comfortable wetsuit but gives extra stretch on seam and a less durable and warranty free product.
Apart from the material sourcing and production addressed in question #5, do you implement complementary durability campaigns? (partnerships, give-back actions, recycling…)
Prolimit is working on a process to be able to recycle wetsuits for 100%, that would be again an industry first. Prolimit is only available at dedicated retailers, where you can get a good advice, fit several wetsuits and get a 100% service.