Polartec hits eco milestone with removal of PFAS in key lines

Performance fabrics supplier to the bike industry, Polartec, has announced a breakthrough in removing all Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from its DWR water repellency treatments, handing the clothing specialist a significant win for its EcoEngineering initiative.

The label has successfully developed a new water repellency technique that has no compromise in durability of the garment. As a result, Polartec’s weather protection lines found under the Hardface, Power Shield, Power Shield Pro, NeoShell and Windbloc banners will all have a lowered environmental impact. The technology will further extend to cover fleece and insulation treatments for greater moisture management on fabric solutions like Thermal Pro and Alpha.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances are man-made chemical treatments have been in use since the 1940s for everything from clothing to cookware. Over time they can be released from the products in which they are found, eventually finding their way into everything from drinking water to the air we breathe.

“Trial results have exceeded even our expectations,” said Mike Rose, Polartec vice president of Product Development. “There is no loss of performance from a water repellency or durability standpoint.”

“Achieving non-PFAS treatments within our product line is an important milestone in our commitment to sustainably made performance fabrics,” added Steve Layton, Polartec president. “It’s the latest step on our journey to an even more sustainable Polartec.”

No part of the Milliken & Company stable, Polartec fabrics can be found in high-end garments from numerous performance cycling and outdoor brands, including the likes of Castelli, DhB, Santini, Patagonia and many more.

For more information on the clothing trade and its environmental impact, check in with textiles expert Charles Ross’s CI.N column on the subject here.