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Did you know that a large number of outdoor sports brands are still producing winter jackets and other technical gear using perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), which are made with fluorocarbons, one of the the most persistent chemicals on Earth? Due to their molecular stability, these toxic chemicals have the tendency to bioaccumulate, posing a high risk of disease to animals and humans when present in their environment.
PFCs are used because they have good heat retentiveness and water repellency. Attributes which brands still using such chemicals are keen to talk up. What you might not know, and may wish to start considering, is that these toxic chemicals are spreading across the globe into soil, rivers, air and sea. Recently, traces have even been found in the Arctic ice.
TFC’s Top Eco Outwear Selection
How you dress for outdoor sports is very important, especially when you are exposed to low temperatures or extreme weather. When it comes to winter sports, one of the top priorities should be your outwear. Not only does it need to be resistant to snow, water, and wind, but it should also allow vapor from your sweat to escape easily.
During the last decades, most top brands have offered gear manufactured with the synthetic PFCs, the toxicity and environmental impact of which were relatively unknown until the last few years. In this post, written for conscious outdoor adrenaline lovers, The Fair Cottage presents you with four different clothing brands that apart from being super stylish and technical, are also taking steps to reduce their use of PFCs.
Mikey Leblanc’s Holden - Innovating Fabrics
Founded and launched in 2002 by the snowboarder Mikey Leblanc, this brand uses innovative materials in their production of eco-friendly snowboarding gear. In 2006 the development of a fabric with with excellent water resistance and moisture management properties made from hemp and recycled plastic bottles, helping to reduce plastic waste, earned them a Worth Global Style Network prize.
Holden is a brand that combines street style with eco outwear while remaining practical, fashionable and sustainable. But that’s not the only cool combination the brand has come up with. If you thought the only innovation happening in coffee culture was the advent of the reusable cup, think again.
Holden, together with Heart coffee have come up with an amazing organic coffee concept; delicious beans with vanilla and sweet almond notes, grown in Brazil’s first sustainable coffee plantation, packaged in biodegradable, one-way valve coffee bags.
Perhaps it was Holden’s passion for sustainable coffee culture that inspired their use of S Café® Sustainable Performance fabrics, which combine wood filaments with coffee grounds to offer UV resistance, good moisture management and natural anti-microbial properties, in the linings of all their winter jackets.
Paramo - Spearheading the PFC Detox
Although Paramo does not rank highly on the list of best known snowboarding labels, you might want to consider them if looking for a brand with truly sustainable values. Let us tell you why.
Besides having a recycling program through which customers are rewarded with discount vouchers after returning old Paramo products, Paramo was in fact the first brand to sign up to the Greenpeace Detox campaign, which guarantees the manufacturing of PFC free products. In place of traditional PFC laden waterproof fabrics, the brand joined together with Nikwax to produce a directional hydrophobic material that repels water even under extreme weather conditions.
What’s more, Paramo together with Nikwax, have been calculating the carbon dioxide emissions of their productions since 2007, in view of reducing it year on year. They also donate part of their revenues to the WLT’s Carbon Balanced Program, which enables companies to offset their greenhouse gas emissions by funding the protection and reforestation of carbon sequestering wildlife habitats in the tropics.
Berg Outdoor - Conserving Nature
Founded in Portugal and winner of several ISPO awards, one the most widely recognised accreditations for sports products worldwide, Berg Outdoor is up there with the most competitively priced sustainable outdoor brands.
Amongst their innovations is the development of gear made from natural materials as well as organic plastic, which degrades in six months under composting conditions. Berg Outdoor, along with more than 130 other companies, is also part of the European Outdoor Conservation Association, which has raised more than €2 million for Conservation Projects around the world.
Picture Organic - Upcycling Safety
If you haven’t already heard about them, get ready for one of your new favorite sustainable outdoor brands.
Founded by three snowboarders, Picture Organic is obsessed with the usage of 100% recyclable and organic materials in their products. Since 2008 they have offered one of the coolest products on the market, a snowboard / ski helmet made entirely from recyclable sources, including old car parts and organic material derived from corn. It’s called The Spread Helmet.
As part of their environmental sustainability campaigns, Picture also placed recycling bins throughout France in which to collect old clothing. Recovered polyester was then treated and upcycled into brand new Picture Organic gear, helping to divert plastic based clothing from landfill.
At Fair Cottage we support brands that produce and promote environmentally safe products. Do you know any other brand that should be added to this list? Please leave your feedback in the comments section, on our instagram channel or write us an email.