PFC and PTFE
Learn more about chemicals of concern in the textile industry.
We have received quite some detail interest in the recycled Sympatex® fabric of our Light Coats. We do appreciate this a lot, not only as we love talking tech; but especially as it comes to eco-sustainability and reducing the impact of man-made issues on our beautiful planet.
We want to highlight a few aspects, that we believe can be also helpful to understand about performance materials in general.
In garments with a high level of 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.
Working with a Sympatex® fabric in our Light Coats, it for us of special importance that these garments are completely PFTE-free and PFC-free (as are all our other garments). This includes the waterproof, breathable membrane included 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.
PFCs are known to be toxic for reproduction and also have a hormonal effect;
while unfortunately still being used in many products on the market. PFCs (per and polyfluorinated chemicals / fluorine compounds) 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 it is worth looking behind the details to protect us and our planet from even more harm.
No matter if you buy garments from us or any other brand, we believe that these substances should be strictly avoided.
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