The Welsh outdoor clothing brand howies were 99% PFC free with their AW16 collection and their new SS17 range will be 100% PFC and PTFE free.
For 21 years howies have been making lower impact clothes for the sports they love, designed in west Wales to suit the environment around them. The core of the Welsh clothing brand has always been in making their products as low impact as possible.
The greatest impact that clothing has on the environment during its lifecycle is from washing. Not just the energy used or the detergent and dyes, but also the chemicals applied to garments to improve performance, finish and keep it clean. These micro particles all go down the drain and end up in the environment – and in humans.
howies continues to lead the industry in lowering the impact their clothing has on the environment by cutting out PFCs, PTFEs and anti-bacterial treatments from 99% of their products in AW16 and are 100% free for Spring 2017 (released Feb-Mar). This makes them possibly the first active brands to totally remove these harmful chemicals from their active products.
“We now use a wide variety of highly technical low impact fabrics across the whole range so that people don’t have to compromise their ethics or the performance of their outdoor clothing” says Adrian Gunn-Wilson, sales and marketing director of howies.
PFC’s (aka perfluorinated and polyfluorinated compounds) are primarily used to make products water-proof, dirt repellent, stain and wear resistant. However micro PFC particles break down, washing off to end up in your body or the water cycle, wreaking havoc on human health and the environment. In January 2016 Greenpeace named and shamed some of the most prolific outdoor clothing brands for continuing to use environmentally hazardous PFCs, despite their claims of sustainability and love for nature. With that in mind, howies want to show what it really means to be a conscious producer of top outdoor gear.
“Where we introduce new styles into the range, if they perform as we want them to then we’ll always try to improve upon them, making them more eco and lower impact from season to season. The action by Greenpeace has opened up a whole new range of low impact and high tech fabrics to us” says Adrian. Through their new collection, howies has integrated the PFC-less fabrics and production techniques into a whole variety of products, from cycling and running gear to tough jackets for exploring the outdoors and for everyday life.
To see the PFC free clothing and find out more about howies head to: www.howies.co.uk
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