Plans by German outdoor clothing brand Jack Wolfskin to eliminate a chemical used in water-repellent coatings for textiles have come in ahead of schedule, the company said today (24 January).

Virtually all Texapore waterproof clothing in its collection will be produced without perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a fluorinated surfactant, from autumn/winter 2013. 
The company had originally expected to reach this goal at the end of 2014.

"We went to great lengths to begin producing all of our water-repellent equipment without PFOA ahead of schedule," said Christian Brandt, COO of Jack Wolfskin.

"75% of waterproof materials in our spring/summer clothing collection are already free from PFOA.

"Our next goal is to be able to offer fluorocarbon-free alternatives and, in the long term, to stop using fluorine-based chemicals altogether, even though this requires a comprehensive overhaul of our entire production chain."

The company, which has more than 600 franchise stores and over 4,000 points of sale across Europe and Asia, has been working on producing weather protection equipment without PFOA since 2009.

Separately, nine major clothing brands and retailers, including H&M and Benetton, have also pledged to eliminate all perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), which are used to make textile and leather products both water and stain-proof.

Their commitment is part of the so-called "Detox challenge" launched in 2011 by environmental group Greenpeace in a bid to clean up the textile supply chain.