News24

Outdoor wear not very green

2012-10-29 22:31

Berlin - Outdoor clothing from top manufacturers is frequently contaminated with chemicals that are harmful to health and the environment, Greenpeace warned on Monday.

The environmental group said in a study that the materials that make many clothing items useful in wind, rain and snow are also toxic.

"Images of pristine nature are often used for advertising outdoor clothing. But nature does not remain untouched by the chemicals in weather-resistant fabrics," it said.

"All over the world, from secluded mountain lakes and Arctic polar ice to deep in the oceans, traces can be found of perfluorinated and polyfluorinated compounds (PFCs), pollutants with properties that are harmful to the environment and health."

Greenpeace said it had tested 14 rain jackets and rain trousers for women and children from top brands such as Jack Wolfskin, Vaude, North Face, Marmot, Patagonia and Adidas for PFCs and found that each sample was contaminated.

It said that some PFCs were known endocrine disruptors and harmful to the reproductive system.

"Most brand name manufacturers use PFCs so that we stay dry in our outdoor wear, inside and outside," Greenpeace said.

"But these man-made compounds of carbon and fluorine are so stable that they can hardly be removed from the environment, if at all."

The group launched its international Detox campaign in 2011 calling on textile manufacturers to replace hazardous chemicals used in production with safe alternatives, and on governments to step up regulation.

Comments
  • donald.a.elder - 2012-10-30 00:54

    Once again! We have a problem with what you are doing. We don't have a clue how to fix it, other than to say use a safer, more sustainable option. We don't know what it will cost, or how to get it implemented. that isn't our problem though. If they were anywhere close to serious, they would come up with their own brand of clothing and electricity and food to show everyone that it is affordable and sustainable. Way more iritating than my mother in law!

      jacob.ndlovu.3 - 2012-10-30 01:19

      If big clothing companies and other major corporations really wanted to improve on their environmental record they could easily do that and also come up with less toxic materials....but at the end of the day it all comes down to GREED. Its all about exploiting people and the environment the cheapest way possible and generating maximum profit. Who cares about the oceans, rivers, biodiversity, forests etc Thats the human for you...Its all about materialism, mass mindless consumerism and greed.

      donald.a.elder - 2012-10-30 04:25

      @jacob. Very short sighted my friend. I assume you have no retirement anuities or any other policies. I assume this because these annuities and policies derive their returns to you by investing in the companies you refer to as greedy and self serving. You wouldn't want to be part of that, now would you? My biggest gripe with organisations like Greenpeace is that they always come to the table with problems, but never with any properly worked out and viable alternatives. How big a solar or wind turbine system would I need to run my household or my suburb or the city I live in? Is this space available, and how much do you believe it would cost to install and implement? Would the resulting installation in itself be eniromentally friendly? Lots of questions from a simpleton such as myself. Perhaps you could direct me to a properly thought out, workable solution.

  • Franna16 - 2012-10-30 07:15

    There are so many REAL issues (like Animal Abuse in Asia and elsewhere) they can try and fix and they go and waste their time with this.

      Madoqua - 2012-10-30 10:42

      You are confusing animal rights with conservation, a common mistake. In my opinion conservation is a REAL issue and animal rights and rights abuse specifically related to domestic animals is transitory. Domestic animals are not an endangered species; their abuse is heartbreaking, but certainly not of conservation importance. Greenpeace I believe is a conservation organization.

  • peter.gugelmin - 2012-10-30 08:23

    Utter hypocrisy! As a former textile employee in a Western country I can tell you the following. The western manufacturers under pressure from environmental groups banned chlorine bleaching, i.e. a process involving any white garment. Other more environment friendly, but more costly processes were used in the Western factories. That pushed up the price of manufacturing. All that has achieved that virtually any white garment is now manufactured in China, and yes with chlorine bleaching and we happily accept that due to the cheaper prices. None of my "green" friends make an effort to buy any white garment that is manufactured in the West, due to the price difference

      robbie.crouch - 2012-10-30 08:45

      Do yourself a favour and check out what the top management of Green Peace earns and what they drive... hypocrites of the first order.

  • pages:
  • 1