Transitioning to fluorocarbon free durable water repellent treatments

We always work to replace chemicals with more environmentally friendly options in our products. Our main present aim is that none of our products will feature fluorocarbon-based water repellent (DWR) treatments in the future.  

Phasing out of fluorocarbons in our products

Fluorocarbons (PFAS) are a group of chemicals with excellent water and dirt-repelling qualities that are used as a surface treatment on a multitude of products require repelling qualities; in apparel but also in construction, automotive, cosmetic and foodstuffs to name a few. Haglöfs uses it in so called Durable Water Repellents; which keeps you dry and clean for longer as the water ‘beads off’ the surface.

Lately, research has shown that certain PFAS’s (or its by products) are toxic and persistent in the environment so there is a need to phase them out and replace them with less harmful alternatives.

Fluorocarbon-free water repellent treatments by 2020

The C8-technologies (with eight carbons in the functional chemical) has been prohibited in our products since 2013. On the vast majority of our products we now have DWR-treatments that are completely fluorocarbon free; and the goal is to have completely phased out the fluorocarbon based DWR treatments on our complete product range by 2020.

Phase-out of fluorocarbons DWR treatments on Haglöfs gear is ongoing since a decade

The phase-out work is ongoing since over ten years and along the way we have encountered several challenges to overcome such as inhibited breathability, fabric quality issues and import duty difficulties.

For this reason we have had to take ‘two steps forward and one step back’ during this time; always with the intention of reaching our goal of having 100% fluorocarbon-free DWR treatments (if any) on all products in 2020.

Still work to do on the most technical products for extreme use

With the help of interested consumers we know that our hard work to phasing out fluorocarbon treatment on our products is the right way to go and now work with our fabric supplier partners in the hope to achieve our goals.

For the most technical of our shell layer styles that are regularly used by mountain professionals as well as rescue teams, there is a fine line between success and failure. A garment that absorbs moisture in the face material may cause acute hypothermia and hence lead to a fatal mistake – it is for those customers we need to make sure that any alternative brought into the collection really fulfils the high standard we set.