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For surfers unsure about an eco alternative to neoprene, Finisterre offers wetsuit rentals

Neoprene, the material traditionally used in wetsuits, isn't exactly environmentally friendly: it's derived from petrochemicals and is so non-biodegradable that it has been used to line landfills. Outerwear brand Finisterre has been neoprene-free since 2021, making its wetsuits of a natural rubber material that it claims performs just as well as neoprene. The rub is in that claim — wetsuits are expensive, and potential buyers may be hesitant to try an unfamiliar material.

Aiming to win them over, UK-based Finisterre just launched a Yulex wetsuit rental program, allowing people to try out their gear in real-world conditions, risk-free. Yulex uses sustainably sourced natural rubber from Hevea trees, delivering an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to traditional neoprene. Its manufacturing process also uses 10x less water.

To provide the rental option, Finisterre is partnering with Zoa. A five-day rental of a GBP 250 women's wetsuit is priced at GBP 30, with free shipping and returns. Customers get a discount if they decide to keep the product and a refund if the item doesn't fit.

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Sampling and other 'try-before-you-buy' approaches will always be a powerful way for brands to distinguish their offerings. Especially when introducing novel products and anything that's an investment, like Finisterre's Yulex wetsuits. By physically placing products in people's hands, businesses provide an unfiltered experience that allows potential customers to make informed decisions. How could your brand leverage rentals or trial periods to allay pre-purchase concerns?