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A Rain Jacket Free of Harmful Chemicals

PFCs help give raingear its water resistant properties, however, these materials are also dangerous for the environment, as well as your health. But this new waterproof jacket from Colombia Sportswear offers a PFC free alternative.

PFCs come from the same family of chemical compounds that are used to give Teflon pans their non-stick, slippery finish. PFC coatings are particularly notable for making liquids, such as rain, bead up and shed away. This is of course beneficial, but at the same time, the resiliency of PFCs towards the elements means that in the environment, the compounds don’t break down. Furthermore, studies indicate that PFCs can negatively affect the internal organs and endocrine activity of animals.

This new rain jacket however claims to be as good as other waterproof, breathable jackets available on the market, however free from PFC chemicals.
The inspiration for this new generation jacket came however from the company’s desire to solve another problem – that rainwear coatings tend to stop being effective over time as the coating wears away.

Rain jackets are normally made with a layer of fabric on the outside, coated with a water-repellent finish containing typical PFCs, and a membrane with holes allowing for breathability inside. As the waterproof coating wears away, the fabric begins to get wet in the rain.

Colombia’s solution is to move the breathable membrane to the outside, thus getting rid of the fabric that is so vulnerable to water. In addition, with some tweaks to the chemical composition of the membrane, it acts as a waterproof, PFC free sheet that efficiently repels water.

In addition to removal of a PFC waterproof coating, the jackets is also undyed, consequently reducing water and energy usage as part of a dying process. Furthermore, the fabric lining, zippers and other trim components are made from recycled plastic water bottles.

Following the launch of this rain jacket, Colombia Sportswear now hope to apply to this concept to other products in their line. In a statement from the company, ‘We have no reason to not want to expand on this platform.’