The ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix 18-19 March will be the platform for launching reZHIKle, a programme created by Zhik to recycle all makes of old wetsuits.

Working with UPPAREL, leaders in textile recovery and garment recycling, SailGP’s long-awaited New Zealand debut will act as the pilot for the new reZHIKle scheme, where people can drop off any brand of used wetsuits or skiff suits to be recycled or repurposed and used again.

Anyone who plans to attend ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix is encouraged to dig through your kit bags and bring your old wetsuits for recycling. Visit either of the Zhik booths located in the Race Village at Naval Point, or at the ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix Live Site, powered by Enable, situated opposite Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre in the city centre.

The launch of the scheme comes on the back of Zhik announcing their first equity Crowd Funding Campaign which goes live on 16th March. The campaign aims to raise AUS $4m to enable Zhik to continue investing in more sustainable technical apparel design and manufacturing processes for sailing and water sports.

The inspiration for reZHIKle came about as a result of Zhik’s close association with Peter Burling, Blair Tuke and the New Zealand SailGP Team. Burling and Tuke, New Zealand Olympic medallists and two-time America’s Cup defenders, founded the Live Ocean Foundation in 2019 to raise awareness of the issues facing the oceans. The charity is the New Zealand SailGP Team’s ‘Race For the Future Partner,’ with the team competing to raise money for Live Ocean’s work through the league’s world-first Impact League.

Speaking at the KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix, Tuke said, “We’re really excited to announce that our technical partner, Zhik is launching a new initiative called, ‘reZHIKle.’ They’ll take our old wetsuits - and yours - and together with an industry-leading apparel recycling company, turn them into new material. Our old wetsuits will get to live another life, ultimately reducing the amount of waste that ends up in landfill.”

Mat Belcher, Zhik CEO explains “From our discussions with Pete and Blair, the New Zealand SailGP event seemed the most natural place to roll out the reZHIKle pilot programme and we are very excited to see the initial response. Whilst we are focusing on innovating more eco friendly garments what happens to them at end of life is equally important to us. The key thing for reZHIKle to succeed is having the right partners in place and we are actively seeking global event partners, dealers and organisations to host our reZHIKle points.”

The reZHIKle booths at the ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix will also be showcasing Zhik’s growing range of environmentally kinder technical garments including the Microfleece Eco X wetsuit and Eco Spandex tops and leggings. Brand new for 2023 are the Elite Polo shirts made with an e.dye® Waterless Color System™ that reduces the use of harmful chemicals by 90% and uses 80% less water during the manufacturing process.

Click here to find out more about reZHIKle.