Global high performance fabric manufacturer Ventile is moving to become a PFC-free company in response to the growing demand for sustainable practices in the textile business.
Through rigorous testing in the lab and field, Ventile has worked with scientists, textile experts and dye houses to produce a durable water repellent (DWR) finish replacement for PFCs without compromising the quality of its fabric. The PFC-free DWR now used by Ventile is among the industry’s first renewably sourced water repellent treatment.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), perfluorochemicals (PFCs) are molecules in which all bonds of the alkyl chain are carbon-fluorine bonds, except for the terminal functional group. Fluoropolymers are used to waterproof and protectively coat clothes, furniture and other products.
The CDC said human health effects from PFCs at low environmental doses are unknown. The ammonium salt of PFOA, a subset of PFCs, has been tested at high doses in mammalian animal studies and produced altered weights of the liver, kidney, thymus and spleen; hepatotoxicity; endocrine and immune effects, and in offspring, growth retardation and delayed sexual maturation.
The new finish contains 63 percent renewably sourced content derived from a variety of plant-based sources, carefully selected from non-genetically modified (non-GMO) and non-food-source feedstock, the company said.
“This is a milestone moment for Ventile, one which we are incredibly proud to announce after years in the making, said Daniel Odermatt, marketing manager for Ventile, whose fabrics have supported outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers including Sir Edmund Hillary and Sir Ranulph Fiennes. “As part of our commitment to environmental protection and sustainable textile production, moving to a PFC-free solution was the natural next step for our business. With the help of industry experts, we have created an environmentally friendly solution…which continues to deliver the performance specifications Ventile fabric is renowned for.”
Ventile said it has long been committed to sustainable practices while embracing the slow fashion movement and encouraging consumers to buy items that have been sustainably sourced and are made to last. The fabric manufacturer, which provides global designers and brands with performance fabrics, provides the outdoor, leisure and fashion clothing and equipment markets with innovative and eco-friendly technologies.
Originally created to help save the lives of Air Force pilots flying over the Atlantic during wartime, Ventile fabric was designed to be cool and comfortable on land, yet warm and impenetrable if it came into contact with water. This innovative technology helped Ventile to carve out a reputation as an effective, natural, all-weather cotton textile.