While the industry decides the best way forward for a more eco-friendly yet high-performance water-repellent/waterproof technology, many brands already offer fluorocarbon-free alternatives. Here are a handful of brands with products from this year and next to consider if you are looking to move towards a PFC-free gear closet.
Fjällräven Eco-Shell collections: The new Eco-Shell fabric is a wind and waterproof solution best suited for rapid movement over any terrain. Durable and lightweight, the fabric has four-way stretch for a free range of motion. The highly breathable material is combined with sealed seams to keep the elements out while allowing body moisture to escape efficiently. Designed with sustainability in mind, the advanced performance fabric is made with fluorocarbon-free recycled polyester that can be recycled at the end of the product lifecycle. Additionally, any unavoidable emissions that occur during production and transport are climate compensated.
DownTek ZeroPFC: The huge surge is water-repellent down over the past couple of years is now being followed with fluorocarbon-free water-repellent down. DownTek’s new ZeroPFC insulation stays dry 10 times longer than untreated down, if not the 35 times longer of the regular treated down. The Jöttnar Fenrir jacket uses DownTek ZeroPFC insulation.
Allied Feather & Down: HyperDRY ECO, which was first available for Fall ‘15 products, marked the company’s first step toward the ultimate goal of having all water-repellent down products be fluorocarbon-free by 2017. Consumers who demand FC-free water-reppelent down now, however, need not wait, as many of its partners already use HyperDRY ECO. Montane, for instance, is already 100% FC-free for their entire line of 2016 water-repellent down apparel.
Sciessent CURB: Makers of antimicrobial and odor adsorption solutions for the textile and apparel industries, the company now releases CURB–a new, fluorocarbon-free durable water-repellent (DWR) fabric finish. Similar to other DWR treatments, CURB gives textiles a functional finish that adds liquid-shedding properties to outerwear, causing droplets to bead and roll off the surface while maintaining permeability to air and water vapor. Sciessent is currently working with potential brand partners to test CURB for future product releases.
Nikwax: The company believes the entire PFC family, not just PFOS and PFOA, present an unacceptable and unnecessary risk to consumers, and therefore asserts that its aftercare products will never use fluorocarbon based water-repellents. UK company Páramo works exclusively with Nikwax on all their weatherproof apparel.
And technically, the Columbia OutDry Extreme pieces, soon to be released, and the new Gore-Tex Active with Permanent Beading Surface garments ditch the DWR treatments all together so make a good option as well.