Review: Billabong Eco-Recycled Boardshorts

Fact File
Style: Eco Mexican Sol
Size: Medium
Price: $89.95

Billabong showed their green credentials (and won a tick of approval from me) when they became the first of the major surf brands to unveil an environmentally friendly range of boardshorts. Appropriately, Billabong team-rider (and eco-warrior) Dave Rastavich is the face of the company’s ‘Be The Change You Want In The World’ environmental campaign and models a pair of these very boardies in their recent ad campaign.

Now that looks like fun

With businesses increasingly embracing the ‘green wave’ amidst cynical accusations of ‘green-washing’ it’s often difficult to tell who is just jumping on the green bandwagon and who actually cares. But that’s another whole story. More to the point of this review is: are recycled boardies actually any good? One imagines that a garment of clothing constructed from what was once 10 plastic bottles may not be all that comfortable, especially when wet.

So with visions of clammy balls and hell sack-rash your trusty editor slipped on a pair of Eco-Recycled boardies and went for a walk. Commando.

First impression was one of mild awe. The boardies are soft, like really, really soft. If angels wear feather boardies in wave heaven then I reckon they’d feel something like this. They’re seamless, have a great, simple fit and, did I mention, are really soft. The Velcro pocket is sturdy and secure but easy to peel open, which is always a bonus as ripping the pocket off your new shorts is never a nice experience. I felt especially warm and fuzzy when I discovered a very cute, sturdy wax comb in the aforementioned pocket. Once I even used this recycled wax comb to neaten my hairstyle, much to the amusement of my imaginary friends.


Righto, so all good on land but how about when these puppies go amphibious? Paddle, paddle duck-dive, paddle. Hmmm, have they slipped off? Am I naked? Unfortunately no, but they are incredibly light and still the most comfortable, soft boardies ever. They also maintain a nice grip on your wax and legs, unlike some of the more silky boardies which slip around and give you one more thing to think about.

The verdict

Well, in keeping with our philosophy of only reviewing products we love, we loved these boardies. Four months later they still feel like new and are still being worn commando (in case you wondered). I guess before any company can proclaim to have produced a truly earth-friendly product one needs to look in detail at whether the manufacturing process involved in, say, converting plastic bottles to boardies is responsible for increased greenhouse gas emissions and whether these have been offset or, indeed, actively reduced.  It would be cool if Billabong provided more information about this kind of stuff, but for the meanwhile all I can say is that any surf company that is progressing towards a more sustainable future whilst making it cool to care gets my stamp of approval. So congratulations, Billabong.

• Soft
• Durable
• Better for the environment

• Sometimes I find it hard to untie my knots (probably my issue)