Better for people and nature

Maier Sports - the PFC-Free Pioneer

Environmentally friendly and sustainable. This is the demand we make on our products at Maier Sports.
Therefore, all our jackets and pants are impregnated environmentally friendly PFC-free.

Greenpeace appealed to outdoor companies with its "detox campaign" in 2013 to ban finishes with perfluorinated and polyfluorinatred chemicals (PFCs) from hiking and mountaineering clothing. That was reason enough for Maier Sports to take on this task.
We unveiled the first PFC-free outdoor jacket in the same year. A pioneering feat.

We then continued with our goal of achieving a PFC-free finish step by step. Always in the forefront of technological developments. The aim was to change the entire collection over to a high-performance PFC-free finish by 2020. However Maier Sports has already exceeded its own target as all newly manufactured jackets and pants in the entire Maier Sports collection have had an environmentally friendly PFC-free finish since 2018.

What are PFCS?

Perfluorinated and polyfluorinated chemicals (PFC) are used in many everyday products. 

PFC cannot be found in nature. Instead, it is created by chemical processes.  They are classified as harmful to health and the environment.

PFCs makes textiles:

  • breathable
  • water-repellent
  • dirt-resistant
  • fat-repellent

 

WHERE CAN PFCs BE FOUND?

PFCs are often used in outdoor clothing - in the breath­able and waterproof membrane as well as the finish. Small amounts of PFC are released into the environment when worn and from washing. If the material is retreated from time to time, sprays and tinctures are used, which also contain PFC. 

These are the chemicals, which e.g. 

  • make carpets remain stain-free for a long time
  • repel oils and lubricants from work clothes
  • give pans, baking tins and pots a non-stick coating  
  • help ski waxes reduce frictional resistance
  • make paper and cardboard waterproof and greaseproof 

They are arranged like bristles on a brush. This means that neither water droplets nor fat droplets can permeate, instead they simply drip off the material.

WHY ARE PFCs A PROBLEM?

The European Union has classified PFCs as particularly worrying because they are carcinogenic, mutagenic and toxic to reproduction. 

They are difficult to break down, accumulate in humans, plants and animals and poison the environment.

More recent studies suggest that PFCs have contributed to:

  • Immune disorders
  • Thyroid diseases
  • Tumour growth
  • Obesity

ADVANTAGES OF ALTERNATIVES TO PFC

Maier Sports always uses membranes based on polyester (PES) or polyurethane (PU) that are regarded as harmless from an environmental point of view. As part of our Mission Clean Function, we as one of the pioneers have created a high-performance PFC-free finish.

PFC finishes are still quite widespread because one of their excellent qualities includes repelling water, fats, oils or other dirt. We worked with partners in the chemical textile industry and found a solution, which lets water drip off textiles really well, similar to PFC finishes. We haven't been quite as successful with fats, oils and dirt yet.

PFC-Free Outdoor pants

PFC-FREe Outdoor Jackets