We’re striving to convert to less-toxic nonfluorinated DWR as a water-repellent finish as soon as possible.
Our durable water repellent (DWR) finish is a chemical coating added to the fabric of our waterproof/weatherproof garments, which helps moisture bead up and roll off the outer fabric; this prevents soaking from the outside and the user becoming cold, clammy or wet. Nonfluorinated DWR is a specific chemical compound that does not rely on the atom fluorine to function. Fluorinated chemistries have been shown to release toxic byproducts into water streams.
Where We Are
We are striving to convert to a non-PFC (fluorine-free) DWR finish as soon as possible. These less-impactful chemistries function differently than fluorinated chemistries, so it takes a specific and thoughtful application for success and we are working closely with our supply chain partners to achieve this.
We are converting noncritical products with a DWR finish (around 90% of our weather/waterproof garments) to become PFC-free by Fall 2022, including items like insulation pieces, midlayers and some outerwear. For critical DWR applications, like a rain jacket you’d wear for 24 hours, we do not yet have a DWR solution that meets the functional needs of these garments. The brightest chemists are helping us to find a solution for this remaining 10% of our products.
The industry is striving to convert from these toxic fluorinated chemistries, but every brand is at different stages of conversion. There is no industry-wide goal set for the elimination of PFCs, and unfortunately no rush into solutions on a mass scale. But we work within a shared supply chain and allow other garment makers to utilize our solutions to enable large-scale success.
Plenty of brands are rushing to claim 100% PFC-free products but are facing performance and longevity issues. So, there’s a problem with using early solutions, which will require the production (and purchasing) of more goods in the long-term.