H&M Bans Use Of PFCs
PFCs are a family of man-made chemicals used to provide water, oil, grease, heat and stain repellency to outerwear fabrics, shower curtains, tents, carpets, nonstick cookware, food packaging, fire-fighting foam and other applications. The chemicals are used both as an ingredient in the manufacturing process and in the finished product, and have been found to be persistent in the environment and are associated with adverse affects on humans and wildlife.
H&M has been working since 1995 to restrict its usage of hazardous chemicals. Last year, it partnered with other fashion and sport brands for Joint Roadmap: Toward Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals — an initiative created to lead the apparel and footwear industry toward eliminating hazardous materials discharge in the supply chain by 2020. The company also is a member of the steering committee of the Apparel and Footwear Industry Restricted Substance List Management group (AFIRM), which also strives to reduce the usage and impact of harmful substances in the apparel and footwear chain.
H&M reports its PFC replacement provides water repellency while having good environment and health properties, and may be used on all its existing fabric qualities. The company currently operates approximately 2,600 stores in more than 40 countries, and sources product from approximately 700 independent suppliers, primarily in Asia and Europe.
September 11, 2012