In partnership with Alexandra Quinn, Manner FWD

Up to date with further brand names on February 1, 2022.

PFAS (per and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are turning out to be the most recent vogue faux pas throughout multi-billion dollar apparel makes. February kicked off with a collection of key bulletins to reduce the harmful “forever chemical” from iconic makes:

  • Ralph Lauren fully commited to remove toxic PFAS use in all of its items by the close of 2022.
  • American Eagle verified strategies to do away with all PFAS use by 2024.
  • Abercrombie & Fitch noted it ideas to make sure all PFAS use in its offer chain is ended by 2025.
  • PVH, guardian enterprise of Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and quite a few other key U.S. apparel makes, introduced strategies to section out the use of all PFAS from its offer chain by 2024.
  • And, Patagonia, Inc. not long ago updated its internet site to reflect a PFAS stage-out by 2024

The dilemma with PFAS

PFAS are a big spouse and children of human-made chemical substances that can trigger most cancers, hormone disruption, liver and kidney damage, developmental and reproductive hurt, and problems to the immune procedure.[i]  They are utilized to clothing, sneakers, and components (i.e., purses and backpacks) to make them a lot more water and stain resistant.[ii]

Making use of PFAS in clothing has led to human and environmental exposure in a numerous of techniques:

  • In the course of creation, PFAS are in many cases produced into the neighborhood waterways as a result of emissions and industrial squander.[iii]
  • Drinking water resources have been contaminated when PFAS-coated clothing is washed or dry-cleaned.[iv]
  • PFAS sheds from dealt with clothing as it is worn and distributed through homes, often carried by indoor dust, coating carpets, furnishings, and other surfaces.
  • Younger children can inhale or ingest the substances soon after crawling on contaminated carpets and placing their palms, outfits, and other objects in their mouths.[v]
  • Manufacturing facility personnel are uncovered to hazardous stages of PFAS at chemical creation web sites and clothing manufacturing amenities.
  • Some PFAS from clothing can also be absorbed as a result of the pores and skin, contributing to extra exposure. [vi],[vii]

PFAS has no area in attire

The continued use of PFAS in the attire sector is egregious specified that it is not required to achieve water and stain resistance and threatens general public protection and effectively-currently being. When many attire companies these kinds of as Inditex (operator of Zara), H & M and Jack Wolfskin primarily based in Europe have moved to eradicate the use of PFAS in their provide chains, the U.S. attire industry is lagging behind.

Crystal clear, community commitments to reduce the use of these chemical compounds send a powerful message to plan makers and the relaxation of the trend field that PFAS has no location on our retailer shelves. Firms like PVH, Ralph Lauren, Patagonia, and several some others show that high quality attire can still be designed devoid of harming human and environmental well being.   

[1] U.S. Environmental Defense Agency, “PFAS Grasp Checklist of PFAS Substances (Edition 2) in DSSTox,” CompTox, (accessed September 16, 2020).

[2] Danish Ministry of the Environment, Environmental Defense Company, Options to Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in Textiles, 2015,….

[3] Rainer Lohmann et al., “Are Fluoropolymers Truly of Very low Concern for Human and Environmental Overall health and Separate From Other PFAS?,” Environmental Science & Know-how 54, no. 20 (Oct 20, 2020): 12820–28,

[4] Munoz et al., “Furthering the Understanding of the Migration of Chemical substances,”downloaded from…, February 4 2022

[5] Yan Wu et al., “Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances in Paired Dust and Carpets From Childcare Centers.” Chemosphere 251 (July 2020): write-up 126771,

[6] Gretta Goldenman et al., The Expense of Inaction: A Socioeconomic Assessment of Environmental and Wellbeing Impacts Joined to Publicity to PFAS (Copenhagen: Nordic Council of Ministers, 2019),

[7] Hillary L. Shane et al., “Immunotoxicity and Allergenic Probable Induced by Topical Application of Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) in a Murine Product,” Food items and Chemical Toxicology 136 (February 2020), post 111114,

By Amalia