In recent years, consumer welfare and environment protection groups have lobbied against the commercial use of a family of chemicals called PFAS. Brands and manufacturers in the global apparel industry have responded accordingly. We will explain what PFAS is and why sustainable fashion brands should discontinue its use.
Per and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) is a group of about nine-thousand synthetic organic substances. The textile sector uses PFAS as additives to make the final product stain, water and heat resistant. This unique chemical property makes it a valuable and widely used substance by apparel manufacturers globally.
If PFAS is so useful, why are fashion brands reducing its application in the industry? Let's look at the primary reasons:
The disadvantages of PFAS substances outweigh the advantages. In response, several leading fashion brands have stopped using PFAS in their production cycle and using better alternatives for sustainable fashion.
Brands- Phased out or in the process of phasing out PFAS Altogether.
In addition, brands like Walmart, Macy’s, Skechers, Wolverine, parent organizations of Keds, Merrell, Stride Rite, Hush Puppies, etc., have banned two core chemicals of PFAS: PFOA and PFOS.
Environmental and social welfare groups have advocated strongly against the use of PFAS in any industry and applications. In the USA, Environmental Protection Agency has kept PFOS and PFOA high on their agenda for regulations in 2022.
In the South Asian sector, India played a part at the Stockholm Convention in 2006 that listed PFOS in the Global Restriction List in 2009. However, India did not implement the amendment, and the use of PFOS and PFAS is still unregulated in the country.
Lastly, Middle Eastern and South-East Asian Countries, the EU, Australia, and several other global regions are doing extensive studies about the impact of PFAS and making regulations.
PFAS are not healthy for humans, animals and the environment. Sustainable fashion brands must look for alternative methods to make apparel resistant against heat, stain and water.
Textile manufacturers globally are adopting alternative methods and creating a greener future. Join the sustainable fashion movement by signing up with Fashinza and our 600+strong network of ethical partner brands.