Lindex bans PFCs and urges suppliers to follow
Lindex uses the Bionic-Finish Eco in its kids’ outerwear
Swedish fashion chain Lindex has banned the use of PFCs in all its garments, teamed up with a chemical company to ensure it delivers on its promise – and hopes to persuade all its suppliers to phase out PFCs to avoid contamination from other brands.
“To eliminate all doubts about the actual content of the water repellent finishes that are used, we have found that the most successful way to ensure a PFC-free finish in our garments has been to nominate chemical brands that can provide us with that,” explains Agneta Häll, quality standard manager at Lindex.
“So far we have started a cooperation with one chemical brand, the Rudolf Group, that can provide and guarantee us a PFC-free finish,” she says.
Lindex, which is part of the Finnish-listed Stockmann Group, has been phasing out PFCs (perfluorinated compounds) since 2012 as part of wider efforts to reduce the use of hazardous chemicals.
PFCs are used in the production of clothing and shoes to make them dirt and water resistant. However, once released, these chemicals are known to be persistent, accumulate in the environment and can impact human health, some of them damaging the immune and reproductive systems, and with links to diseases such as thyroid disease.
The fashion retailer, which operates more than 490 stores in 16 markets, has already banned 16 phthalates, including DEHP, BIBP, DBP and BBP and the use of PVC and APEO in their production. The ‘Limitations of Chemicals’ list that its suppliers follow goes beyond legal requirements, it says.
Lindex began using the Rudolf Group’s fluorocarbon-free water-repellant Bionic-Finish Eco in children’s outerwear in 2012. The chemical firm now provides Lindex suppliers with information and training.
Sabine Jahn, pull marketing manager at Rudolf Group, says all parties were involved from the outset, including Lindex headquarters and Shanghai office, and the Rudolf Group in Germany and China. “Lindex and Rudolf Group check the production processes together and organises discussions between all involved parties including fabric suppliers and textile mills,” Jahn adds.
Today, the Bionic-Finish Eco is used as finish in Lindex’s entire outerwear range. Lindex says it next goal is to ensure that its suppliers completely phase out the use of PFCs, even for other brands, to ensure non-contamination.
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