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20th June 2017, Friedrichshafen

Lightweight and sustainable functional apparel on display at OutDoor 2017

The days of Perfluorocarbons (PFCs) in the outdoor industry are numbered. A dozen companies, including several big players, are presenting PFC-free membrane jackets at this year’s OutDoor, which is taking place this week, organisers report. Sustainable solutions and lightweight designs are high on the agenda at the leading outdoor show.

Ascent of Italian alpinist David Bacci of Fitz Roy in Patagonia in 2016 marked the start of a new era. David Bacci was the first professional mountaineer to climb one of the world’s hardest routes wearing a PFC-free jacket.

Europe’s largest trade show demonstrates that the outdoor industry can go PFC-free. © OutDoor

“The PFC-free clothing worked better than I thought it would. There is no functional reason for using PFCs,” he said. He added that sustainable alpinism should mean reaching summits by ethical means only and without relying on harmful chemicals.

Going PFC-free

Europe’s largest trade show also demonstrates that the outdoor industry can go PFC-free. David Bacci climbed in a Páramo Enduro jacket, which uses a Nikwax Analogy fabric for weather protection. However, membrane jackets can do without PFCs too.

High-end American brand Marmot, is introducing the “future of raingear”, says European CEO Andy Schimeck. Marmot’s EvoDry collection is completely PFC-free. Sympatex is also presenting a fabric of the future in Friedrichshafen. At a design workshop, the membrane manufacturer developed the functional Jacket 4.0. It is recycled and recyclable, 100% PFC free and 100% CO2-neutral, yet offers full functionality, according to the manufacturer.

A dozen companies are presenting PFC-free membrane jackets at this year’s OutDoor. © OutDoor

In addition to Marmot and Sympatex, Fjällräven, Haglöfs, Houdini, Jack Wolfskin, Klättermusen, Maier Sports, Mamalila, Pyua and Vaude are presenting PFC-free membranes.

Ways to be sustainable

There are many different ways to be sustainable: renewable raw materials instead of fossil fuels, natural dyeing processes and dyes instead of chemicals, reducing water consumption when dyeing, or during production, plus compostable clothing and closed loop recycling.

Houdini is launching the “first ever compostable T-Shirt”, at the OutDoor show. Röjk and Tierra are both presenting jackets made from 100% bio-polymers. That means they are 100% free from non-renewable fossil based resources. “It’s interesting to note that Scandinavian and German brands are leading the way on sustainability. This is due to the framework conditions in both countries and their national outdoor trade associations,” organisers report.

There is a whole raft of interesting new lightweight innovations for outdoor fans. © OutDoor

Lightweight innovations

There is a whole raft of interesting new lightweight innovations for outdoor fans. Haglöfs L.I.M. Field Jacket aims to revolutionise laminate technology with its super-thin, yet PFC-free, 1.5-layer membrane. Japanese lightweight expert Montbell is launching the ultra-light 70-gram Tachyon Parka, which has a 7-denier polyamide hood.

Mammut is showcasing its Eisfeld Light softshell jacket and pant combination featuring seamless technology. Weighing in at 770 grams, it might sound heavy next to the Montbell jacket, but given the extremely abrasion-resistant characteristics of its Schoeller Dryskin fabric that can withstand plenty of punishment from rough rock, it is still very lightweight. And the fabric is also given a PFC-free treatment.

www.outdoor-show.com

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