Vaude has set itself the goal of completely removing harmful chemicals from its entire supply chain. With the new Spring/Summer 2018 collection, the German manufacturer of outdoor clothing has come one step closer to its goal of producing clothing completely without environmentally harmful fluorocarbons (PFC). All materials in the summer collection are completely PFC-free.

Ten years ago, Vaude decided to use pollutant-free materials in its collections, with the focus on PFC. For a long time, PFC was regarded as a common technology for water-repellent finishes and also provided a cost-effective solution for the industry. Accordingly, interest from other companies was low. The outdoor producer was not discouraged: “Given the serious environmental impact caused by PFC, we could only do without it completely,” says Antje von Dewitz, VAUDE Managing Director.

All apparel fabrics PFC-free

Since summer 2015, Vaude has been producing water-repellent clothing such as softshell jackets and trekking pants. Now all outer fabrics of waterproof garments such as rain jackets and trousers are also to be removed.

Recently, the textile manufacturer has finally succeeded in bringing all the apparel fabrics of the new collection into the market without the use of PFC and with an eco-finish. Vaude is thus very close to fulfilling Greenpeace’s Detox Commitment by voluntarily committing to eliminating all harmful substances from the entire supply chain by 2020 at the latest.

“For us, the PFC exit in apparel fabrics was an enormous feat. We have met this challenge by working for years with our partners from the chemical industry and our material suppliers in a very focused manner on the solutions themselves as well as on process reliability and by carrying out countless tests. I am very proud that we can show today that it is possible to offer PFC-free alternatives without customers having to do without important functionality,” says Antje von Dewitz.

Existing challenge for Vaude

The only obstacle is the waterproof zippers of the outdoor clothing. So far there have been no PFC-free alternatives from suppliers. Here, too, Vaude wants to complete the exit by summer 2019.

“Vaude has been seriously involved with PFC right from the start and has set an ambitious schedule to completely eliminate these harmful chemicals from its entire supply chain. Vaude is one of very few outdoor manufacturers which is committed to Detox and consistently follow this path with all its challenges. This is a real pioneering achievement that requires a lot of commitment and perseverance,” explains Chiara Campione, Senior Corporate Strategist at Greenpeace.


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Image: Vaude