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Introducing PFAS FREE Swim Parkas

PFAS were brought to my attention by a customer early in 2023.  Prior to them asking me if my swim parkas contained PFAS I had never heard of the term.  However, I figured if it was important enough to this person for them to enquire about it, I should look into it and learn more about the chemicals used in the production of waterproof clothing.  Following my research and discussions with my manufacturers, I decided that going PFAS free was a direction I wanted to go. 

In September of 2023, I can proudly say that our newest swim parkas no longer contain PFAS. 

Our new PFAS free swim parkas look and feel just like our regular parkas and still keep the car seats dry.

So what did I learn?  Let's get technical………….

PFAS stands for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances that are commonly used in the production of clothing and fabrics for their water and stain-resistant properties. These chemicals can be found in a variety of clothing items. Other common acronyms for this class of chemicals are PFC, PFOS and PFOA.

Some specific examples of clothing items that may contain PFAS include:

  1. Waterproof jackets and raincoats: Many waterproof jackets and raincoats are treated with PFAS to make them water-resistant. These chemicals help repel water and prevent the fabric from becoming saturated, which can make the garment heavy and uncomfortable to wear.
  2. Athletic wear: Many types of athletic wear, such as running shorts and workout leggings, may also contain PFAS. These chemicals can help wick away sweat and keep the garment dry, which can be important for athletes and other active individuals.
  3. Shoes: Some shoes, particularly those designed for outdoor activities such as hiking and camping, may also be treated with PFAS to make them water-resistant. This can help keep the feet dry and comfortable in wet or damp conditions.

While PFAS-treated clothing is really handy for certain activities, it's important to think about the potential environmental and health risks associated with these chemicals.

Here's the thing, when we wash these clothes, those PFAS chemicals can end up in the environment through the water we use.  And they don't break down easily.  In fact, they can persist in the environment for a really long time and can accumulate in soil, water, and wildlife, potentially causing harm to ecosystems and human health. Some studies have linked exposure to PFAS with health problems such as cancer, liver damage, and reproductive and developmental issues.

The exact length of time that PFAS will persist in the environment depends on a variety of factors, such as the specific type of PFAS, the conditions of the environment, and the presence of other chemicals that may interact with PFAS. Sometimes referred to as “forever chemicals”, PFAS are known to be very persistent and can remain in the environment for decades, if not longer. 

While the effects of PFAS exposure on human health and the environment are still being studied, many countries and organizations have taken steps to restrict or phase out the use of these chemicals in textiles and other products. 

Once again, we are proud to be one of these organizations to have taken this step.