People are hiking, wearing Patagonia kit

Patagonia’s Journey To PFC-Free

As lovers of the great outdoors, we know that our adventures shouldn't damage the planet we love to explore. That's why we're all about finding kit that not only performs well but is also environmentally responsible. 


We're especially excited to hear about Patagonia's commitment to phasing out the use of PFCs in their products. Read on to learn exactly what PFCs are, why removing them is such an important goal and how Patagonia are making the world a better place, one adventure at a time.  

A person is standing on a rock and looking at the mountains, wearing Patagonia kit.

What are PFCs?

Patagonia's commitment to our environment has been a core part of their business since their founding in 1973. And in recent years, they've been focused on eliminating the use of PFC chemicals in all their products. Per- or polyfluorinated chemicals, referred to as PFCs and nicknamed ‘forever chemicals’ are a family of chemicals - widely used in producing outdoor kit and apparel because of their effective water and stain-resistant properties. However, PFCs are known to negatively impact the environment and human health.  


Fluorinated chemicals like PFCs (or PFAS, PFOS, and PFOA) have been used for decades. You can find them in all sorts of things like non-stick cookware, stain-resistant carpeting, food wrappers, and even fire-extinguishing foam. Brands like Patagonia have been using these chemicals to create a water-repellent finish on most synthetic products, and in waterproof kit, they're used on the membrane to keep water out.  

Why are PFCs important to talk about?

The thing is, these chemicals don't break down easily and can accumulate in wildlife and persist in the environment for thousands of years. That's why it's important to find alternatives that are just as effective without causing harm. While PFCs are great at their job and aren't harmful to wear, they can contaminate water and food during manufacturing and make recycling harder down the line. So, it's really important to find better solutions that have less environmental impact. 

A person is standing under a hut roof, while it is raining, wearing Patagonia clothes.

Developing an alternative

After performing countless tests and rigorous research, Patagonia took a bold step in 2012 to reduce their use of PFCs, with the goal of one day eliminating them. Plus, they made significant changes to their production processes, including switching to PFC-free water-repellent technology and developing new environmentally friendly materials - all without compromising performance. 


Autumn 2019 was an excellent season for Patagonia. They released their first PFC-free Durable Water Repellent products like the Pack Rain Covers, and this was just the beginning. Two years later, they hit a major milestone with their Dual Aspect Jacket and Bibs. They were the first 100% PFC-free technical products for alpine climbing! It was definitely no easy feat to create kit that is both water-resistant and eco-friendly and now, for this Spring 2023, they've released their new Torrentshell rain jacket. It’s entirely PFC-free, durable and holds just as much water repellence as those holding 'forever chemicals'. With this new addition, 66% of Patagonia's fabrics with a DWR finish are PFC-free. And their mission is not over yet. Their in-house chemists and designers are constantly innovating and testing to create kit that’s better for the planet and for you. 

A person is mountaineering on a snow mountain, wearing Patagonia kit.

A person is mountaineering on ice, wearing Patagonia kit.

Patagonia’s New PFC-Free Rainwear

Let's check out some of their most recent range, all Fair Trade Certified™ sewn and made without the use of perfluorinated chemistries. These jackets are guaranteed to be a trusty mountain companion, whatever the weather throws at you. First up, the Torrenshell 3L Jacket.   

Torrentshell 3L Jacket

Their Torrentshell 3L Jacket is a real down-to-earth option for staying dry and comfortable during outdoor adventures. It's made with 3-layer H2No™ Performance Standard technology, which means it's waterproof, breathable, and perfect for those days when the weather just won't cooperate. Plus, it has a PFC-free DWR finish, so you can trust that it's not harming the environment.  

Granite Crest Jacket

If you're someone who loves hitting the trails rain or shine, you'll want to check out the Granite Crest Jacket. It's not only durable and high-performing, but it's also made with the planet in mind. The jacket is crafted from 100% post-consumer recycled nylon ripstop from discarded fishing nets. Plus, its PFC-free DWR finish keeps water out without using any harmful chemicals. With the H2No™ Performance Standard, this jacket has got you covered for any weather.  

Dual Aspect Jacket

The Dual Aspect Jacket is a fully PFC-free waterproof/breathable technical shell built for alpine climbing in the harshest conditions. This combination of full storm protection for the worst possible weather, a construction designed for free movement in the mountains, and a materials package free of perfluorinated chemicals is an important step forward in creating highly technical jackets with lower impacts on the environment. The jacket also features a 3-layer Gore-Tex fabric that provides excellent waterproof + breathable performance, while the Y-shaped zipper design allows for easy access to a climbing harness or backpack.  


The outdoor industry plays such an important role in protecting the planet and we’re proud to partner with brands like Patagonia who are making environmental awareness a priority in everything they do.  

A person is hiking with trekking poles, wearing Patagonia clothes.

Planet-First Lifecycle

And when it comes to reducing our impact on the environment, recycling and repairing your kit can also make a big difference. In every Cotswold Outdoor store, we offer a Recycle My Gear scheme where you can bring in your old or worn kit, and we'll make sure it's recycled or repurposed responsibly. 


Patagonia also offers their Worn Wear program, where you can bring in your old Patagonia kit for repair, so it can continue to serve you for years to come. By repairing and recycling your kit, we can reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills and minimise our impact on the environment. So, if you have any kit that's in need of repair or ready to retire, consider these options before throwing them away. 

Here at Cotswold Outdoor, we know that even the smallest changes in our daily lives can have a positive impact on the planet. That's why we're all about making conscious choices to reduce our environmental footprint and protect the great outdoors for everyone to enjoy. After all, who doesn't love a good hike or a weekend of camping, surrounded by nature's beauty? So, let's work together and do our part to keep our planet healthy and happy. 

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