Gore-Tex bans pfcs: soon no hazardous substances more in our outdoor clothing and equipment

It looks like a mop: in a lot of outdoorkledij sit toxic substances. The clothes we wear to enjoy the nature … the same nature damage. The famous brand Gore-Tex promises now to the dangerous substances to ward off.

Mountain climbing © Getty Images/iStockphoto

Greenpeace has campaigned for some time against the controversial toxic substances, such as pfcs that are in (waterproof) clothes. These toxic substances are found in raincoats, shoes, clothes, sleeping bags, tents, backpacks and other typical outdooritems. Per – and polyfluorkoolwaterstoffen (pfcs) are used to make materials water and dirt repellent to make, but the complex chemical substances are known because some species are carcinogenic and reproduction, and disrupt the hormone system.


Pfcs were discovered in remote mountainous areas, and even in the liver of polar bears.

In the report of Greenpeace, explains, the organization that pfcs but difficult to break down, and years in our bodies, can continue to run. And also in nature they spread: pfcs were discovered in remote mountainous areas, and even in the liver of polar bears.

The health hazards are not directly associated with the wearing of the clothing that pfcs contains, but with inhalation of the substances or because the substances in the drinking water or in our food. Especially during the production process contaminate the PFT’s the environment.

More and more hikers, joggers, rock climbers and skiers have joined a campaign by Greenpeace to outdoormerken to convince the substances no longer use.


Gore-Tex, the best-known brand of waterproof membranes in outdoor clothing and equipment, could the loud criticism, ignore it and bans the use of pfcs. The brand promises to bring against 2020 no PFC’s to use in 85% of the range. Three years later, the chemicals from the whole production chain are gone.

‘Together with our suppliers, we have proposed to achieve these objectives through an aggressive innovation programme’, says Christian Longer of Gore. ‘We will have new waterproof materials and membranes develop.’ The company looks at different slopes and wants at the end of next year, the first PFC-free products to the consumer.


Promise makes debt. External parties will, in the future, tests should continue to carry out the objectives of the brands to follow.

The chance is big that other brands now follow, and their production clean. Previously had brands such as Vaude, Patagonia, Jack Wolfskin and Fjällräven already promised to pfcs eradication and sustainable alternatives to develop. Other outdoormerken will be after the great player Gore-Tex undoubtedly follow.

There already exist alternatives, because in some waterproof items that were tested could the test panel no pfcs. Brands often complain that it is difficult to find alternatives that are equally efficient work, but the outdoormerk Pàramo, a PFC-free brand, proves that it can. External parties will, in the future, tests should continue to run to the promises of the brands to follow.

Green future


The incredible acceleration proves that a sector in a relatively short period of time can be transformed

“This is a victory for all nature lovers,” says Joeri Thijs, spokesperson of Greenpeace. ‘Since the beginning of our campaign, hundreds of thousands of outdoorsportliefhebbers together with our online battle for these brands to track any pfcs to use.’

“We are not there yet. But the incredible acceleration on the road to a buitensportsector without dangerous pfcs proves that a sector in a relatively short period of time can be transformed – as the main actors are willing to work together acting responsibly’, it sounds.

Learn more about the Detox campaign of Greenpeace.

What about other materials?

Fleece is a material that is very prevalent in outdoor clothing and equipment. It is made of recycled PET bottles and, therefore, often seen as a sustainable solution. But, recent studies show that fleece the problem of the plastic soup does not dissolve, but maintains. During the wearing and washing process of fleece garments, they lose, after all, microplastic in large numbers. That in the nature and in the ocean. In this way, the plastic particles at the beginning of our food chain and ultimately, therefore, also in the human body.

Sources: IPS, Greenpeace, The Guardian

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