After an unprecedentedly hot summer, your rain gear might have done some extra time in the pile at the back of the closet in 2021. Use Endura’s new PFC-free Re-Proofer to give it a refresh this fall without giving mother nature the finger. The waterproof fabric conditioner is biodegradable and suitable for all technical garments and fabric types.
The brand has been PFC-free since 2018 and has a long-standing reputation for sustainable practices. Its non-PFC DWR (durable water repellent) treatment joins a select few others in the market.
Why Be PFC-Free?
PFC’s, or perfluorochemicals, are a group of synthetic chemicals known for water and oil repellency. They’re commonly used in, but not limited to, textiles — they’re also the active agent in Teflon, Scotchgard, and various other non-stick or repellent treatments. The chains of strongly bonded carbon and fluorine atoms yield an almost impenetrable coating that’s great for its intended purpose.
The problem is that they’re toxic to pretty much everything alive; The EPA has linked PFC’s to adverse birth outcomes and thyroid disease in humans. And because nothing in nature can degrade them, they’re highly environmentally persistent. That means they’ve become increasingly hazardous over time. Some studies suggest PFC’s are so pervasive that mothers transfer them to infants in utero “between 99% and 100%” of the time (see link above).
As such, the EPA has been phasing PFC and its various subordinate chemicals (PFOA, PFAS) out of the consumer market since the early 2000s. Recently, PFC-free waterproof textiles have been trickling into the outdoor market. For instance, high-volume textile supplier Polartec eliminated PFAS from its full product line in July. The move reverberated across the outdoor and fashion industries and appeared to signal a glacial shift.
PFC-Free Re-Proofer and Other Waterproof Treatments
Though the movement against PFC’s in DWR fabrics is in its relative infancy, PFC-free waterproof treatments have existed for some time. The ubiquitous Nikwax, for example, is PFC-free across its entire product range. So it’s relatively expected that Endura, a conscientious brand with a committed approach to sustainability, would phase the chemicals out as well. The Livingston, Scotland-based company hadn’t priced Endura PFC-Free Re-Proofer as of this writing, but it will go live at this link.