Looking at alternative solutions to environmental problems is something we are always trying to do. Over the past few years, we've been looking into alternative waterproof finishes for our outerwear, without the use of nasty long-chain fluorocarbon chemicals which pollute our water. These chemicals are unable to break down, meaning they stay in our eco-system for a lifetime.
Our aim is to eliminate fluorocarbons and ensure that our products are free from these long chain chemicals by the end of 2017. It's a goal we are committed to achieving; we believe it's attainable, and we're working hard to make sure it becomes a reality.
"We became aware of the issue of fluorocarbons within our supply chain a few years ago, from reading textile press, discussions with our key suppliers and highlighted in the media from Greenpeace’s Zero discharge Campaign . We started conversations with our Japanese suppliers - namely Pertex® and Teijin, pioneers within sustainable performance textiles. We took a stance and started to ask questions about the needs of our waterproofs from a performance point of view: how can we continue to offer functional waterproofs that keep our customers dry, everyday, without compromising the planet” - Debbie Luffman, Product Director
So what is a fluorocarbon, and why do we want to eliminate them from our products?
Most waterproofs have a DWR finish put onto them which repels water. This traditional DWR is made up of C6 or C8 long-chain chemicals. When we wash our waterproofs, fluorocarbons get into our water system and because of their chemical compounds, they don't break down and remain in the water forever. We have been using C6 DWR for the last 5 years, these are still long-chain chemicals, but they are able to break down over time but still aren't great for our water system. This has a huge environmental impact, which is why we're clamping down on using fluorocarbons in our range and now looking to use only FC free DWR.
What is Finisterre planning on doing from 2017?
Our goal is to be fluorocarbon-free across our range by the end of 2017. "It’s a genuine target that is set to the team, to all of our designers - all of our suppliers know it," says Debbie. "This is a target that has been an ambition for the last three years.
This season our waterproof insulated parka, the Solus, is totally fluorocarbon-free, which we're really proud of. We're planning on extending this policy to the rest of the range, so by the end of 2017, our ambition is to be a totally fluorocarbon-free."