Target: Sustainable Apparel Coalition
Goal: Support companies that have banned PFOA, a chemical harmful to humans and the environment
In recent years, the outdoor clothing sector has faced intense scrutiny for its prevalent use of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in its products. Dozens of companies have made significant strides to ban this harmful pollutant with long-lasting effects on humans the environment, and transitioning to safer alternatives. Commend this industry shift towards sustainable outdoor apparel.
PFOA is commonly used in outdoor sportswear as a waterproofing and stain resistant material. PFOA is a pollutant that accumulates in the environment and passes to humans through the food chain. It’s been detected in the bloodstream of animals such as polar bears and penguins and is linked to reproductive and developmental problems in humans. In 2012, Greenpeace conducted an investigation of the outdoor industry’s use of toxic chemicals and discovered PFOA in the manufacturing process often escapes into the environment where it remains resistant to degradation.
Major companies such as H&M, Marks & Spencer, Patagonia, Marmot, and Schoeffel have banned or pledged to begin phasing out the use of PFOA in their products as they adopt environmentally friendly practices. Examples include transitioning to compounds that degrade faster, replacing antibacterial treatments of products with non-toxic mineral based alternatives, and developing water repellent materials without harmful impacts on consumers or the environment. While some companies have complained that the absence of PFOA will result in inferior outdoor products with less water resistance, the development of PFOA-free alternatives will provide new opportunities for innovation in the industry to create products with sustainability in mind.
The Sustainable Apparel Coalition was launched several years ago as a joint effort between apparel brands, NGOs, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reduce environmental and social impacts of the apparel industry by establishing an industry-wide index for measuring those impacts. According to SustainableBusiness.com, the group seeks to “drive improvements in energy, waste, water, and toxics in the supply chain,” to create a more sustainable product. Sign this petition to thank the Sustainable Apparel Coalition for their efforts to promote social and environmental justice and transparency in the apparel industry.
Dear Sustainable Apparel Coalition,
With the growth of the outdoor clothing sector came realizations of dangerous practices, such as the use of PFOA as a water and stain repellent in clothing. As a persistent pollutant, PFOA accumulates in the environment, animals, and humans with toxic effects. The Sustainable Apparel Coalition rose to the occasion, attracting more than 30 major companies based in three continents to measure the environmental and social impacts of products and find solutions to address these harmful practices.
By transitioning to safer materials that degrade faster and developing new alternatives with water resistant properties, these companies have displayed their commitment to creating a more sustainable future for the outdoor apparel industry. We commend you for taking the initiative to ban harmful chemicals such as PFOA in outdoors clothing and rethinking the long-term impacts of these products on the environment.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Sustainable Apparel Coalition via TrayCreative.com