We are PFC FREE
Starting this 2017-18 season and for good, we adopt a PFC free water repellency treatment for the totality of our technical products
PFC (perfluorinated chemicals) have been used for decades in the outdoor industry. The benefit : impart water repellent properties to technical fabrics.
For many years, the C8 (long-chain, fluorocarbon-based) water repellency treatment was commonly used by outdoor brands. It is appreciated for its high efficiency and durability.
The NGO Greenpeace helped breaking the habit in 2011 with its “Detox” campaign asking garment companies to acknowledge the problem.
Greenpeace’s report stated the environmental damages caused by the use of the C8 chain and more precisely, the negative impact of the associated components: PFOA/PFOS.
Therefore, these components spread in the environment during the manufacturing process but also during the use of products containing PFC.
Once released into the environment, they break down very slowly. So PFC traces were found in rivers, glaciers and nearby production factories.
They can generate health problems for humans and animals (endocrine-disrupting chemicals, hormonal derailments, carcinogens).
This all provides strong encouragement to stop using the PFC treatment, despite its high performance.
The Detox campaign report generated reactions. And in 2013, we found a solution to the problem: The C6 (shorter PFC chain) cut off the PFOA/PFOS from the equation.
We knew this solution was only temporary because it only reduced part of the problem. On the long term, it was not an environmentally friendly option.
So we teamed up with other brands, with our factory LiLian, as well as engineers, in order to find a true solution to the problem.
The challenge: Offer a PFC free, functional yet durable water repellency treatment.
After all, who would buy an environmentally friendly technical product that cannot provide a long-lasting protection because of poor water repellency?
After extensive testing, we found a solution: Chemours’ Teflon EcoElite. This treatment is now used on all of our technical products (jackets, pants, gloves).
Teflon EcoElite offers 3 times the durability of regular PFC free treatments and it is made of renewably sourced, Bluesign certified components.
According to us, this water repellency treatment is the best alternative.
Every few washes though, for any type of water-repellent, the water repellency needs to be restored. In order to do so, we have 2 PFC free options to suggest : NST et Nikwax.