PFC and PTFE
Learn more about chemicals of concern in the textile industry.
We have received quite some detail questions about the substances PFC and PTFE. We do appreciate this a lot, as it is a highly relevant topic to protect our beautiful planet from further man-made impact. Also, we love talking tech!
To mention first, all our garment are free of these chemicals.
No matter if you are buying garments from us or any other company, we want to highlight a few aspects that we believe can be helpful and important to understand about performance materials in general. In garments with a high level of technical performance (optimal breathability, waterproofness, windproofness) it is of special challenge to assure a maximum level of ecology at the same time. But it does not have to be a paradox.
These kind of materials usually have a waterproof, breathable membrane included as a layer in the fabric, as well as the water-repellent impregnation ('DWR - durable water repellent') that is applied outside of the fabric to repel water on the surface. The membrane and the impregnation together achieve the desired performance.
Unfortunately, PFCs are still being used in many products on the market to achieve this performance. PFCs (per and polyfluorinated chemicals / fluorine compounds) are known to be toxic for reproduction and also have a hormonal effect; and they are one of the eleven prioritized substance groups on the detox list by Greenpeace. They are also referred to be 'everlasting chemicals', that remain in the environment for eternity.
The amount of products on the market that are using PFC-free impregnations (DWR) is increasing. This is good news, however at the same time it has also diverted attention away from the fact and discussion that many garments also contain membranes based on the same chemistry. This refers to the use of PTFE, despite the availability of alternatives. The manufacturing and disposal of PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) may release again PFCs. Traces of PTFE can meanwhile be detected in the blood of every human.
The 2019 Hollywood movie 'Dark Waters' has been dedicated to this problem and the chemical industry releasing chemicals of concern into the environment for more than 30 years. You can read more about it on Wikipedia here, or watch the official trailer here.
We believe that these substances should be strictly avoided.