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GEAR:30

Why All Your Jackets Are Going to Change: Ditching PFAS w/ Outdoor Research

Ep. 264

“PFAS” or “Per- and Polyfluorinated Substances” are a hot topic today, especially in the outdoor apparel world, where they’ve been used for decades, most notably in the “DWR” or Durable Water Repellant finishes that are applied to a lot of clothes these days. But that’s going to be coming to an end in the near future. 

So, to learn more about why this matters and what it means for manufacturers and consumers alike, Luke Koppa sat down with Alex Lauver, the Senior Director of Materials, Innovation, and Sustainability at Outdoor Research

They cover why PFAS have been so prevalent in technical apparel for so long; how their use in clothing is just the tip of the iceberg; their downsides and why we’re seeing this recent push to completely eliminate them; the challenges presented by coming up with PFAS-free alternatives; how this shift affects the entire apparel supply chain; how Outdoor Research has approached this transition and worked to stay ahead of the curve; and much more.

TOPICS & TIMES:

Alex’s background (3:41)

PFAS vs PFC (8:38)

How long these compounds have been in use (10:41)

Prevalence in the outdoor industry (17:21)

PFAS alternatives (25:28)

Regulatory aspects and timeline (34:08)

What’s next? (50:15)

Crashes and Close Calls (55:42)

RELATED LINKS:

Episode Sponsor: OpenSnow

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Blister Summit 2024

PFAS FAQs from Outdoor Research

CDC Factsheet on PFAS

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