Going PFC Free at OutDoor 2017

Going PFC Free at OutDoor 2017

photo courtesy of nau, the north face, Fjällräven

Perfluorocarbons (PFCs) in the outdoor industry is becoming less popular as manufacturers presented PFC-free membrane jackets at this year’s OutDoor. This week sustainable solutions and lightweight designs are high on the agenda at the leading outdoor show.

PFCs are perfluorinated chemicals and are often used in outdoor gear to impart water repellence to textiles. This keeps waterproof membranes working the way they should and ensures users stay dry. However, PFC-free clothing work better and there is no functional reason for using PFCs anymore as the alternative sustainable alpinism offers a more ethical without relying on harmful chemicals.

There are many ways to be sustainable such as: using renewable raw materials instead of fossil fuels, natural dyeing processes and dyes instead of chemicals, reducing water consumption when dyeing, or during production, plus compostable clothing and closed loop recycling.

Outdoor is Europe’s largest trade show where many companies are presenting PFC-free membrane jackets this year. Brands opting for this new trend include Marmot and Sympatex, Fjällräven, Haglöfs, Houdini, Jack Wolfskin, Klättermusen, Maier Sports, Mamalila, Pyua and Vaude, all presenting PFC-free membranes.

Houdini is another mentionable brand launching the “first ever compostable T-Shirt”, at the OutDoor show. Röjk and Tierra are both presenting jackets made from 100% bio-polymers. That means they are 100% free from non-renewable fossil based resources. There is a whole raft of interesting new lightweight innovations for outdoor fans. Haglöfs L.I.M. Field Jacket aims to revolutionise laminate technology with its super-thin, yet PFC-free, 1.5-layer membrane. Japanese lightweight expert Montbell is launching the ultra-light 70-gram Tachyon Parka, which has a 7-denier polyamide hood.

Mammut is showcasing its Eisfeld Light softshell jacket and pant combination featuring seamless technology. Weighing in at 770 grams, it might sound heavy next to the Montbell jacket, but given the extremely abrasion-resistant characteristics of its Schoeller Dryskin fabric that can withstand plenty of punishment from rough rock, it is still very lightweight. And the fabric is also given a PFC-free treatment.