What are PFAS and why should you care?

There’s been a lot of buzz in recent years about per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and perfluorinated compounds (PFCs). Which is a good thing, since the impact of these forever chemicals isn’t something to brush off. They wreak havoc on nature and our health. 

The problem is, these chemicals have been used in outdoor clothing for decades, before the dangers were well known. They are annoyingly good at water repellency which is why they’ve been widely used in the outdoor industry. 

Until now...

  • What are PFAS?

    PFAS stands for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances – a mouthful, right? There are almost 15,000 chemicals that form part of the PFAS family and these chemicals are commonly found in everyday products, like clothing and cookware, due to their water and oil repellent properties. They've drawn attention for persisting in the environment, negatively.

  • What are PFCs?

    PFCs, or perfluorinated compounds, are a subgroup of PFAS that are commonly used in waterproof coatings on clothing. Aptly nicknamed "forever chemicals," they stick around for the long haul, wreaking havoc on ecosystems and potentially posing health risks to humans. 

What is XTM doing about PFAS?

Let's just say we aren’t just sitting idly by. 

As a proud B Corp company we’re committed to helping people and the planet, which means we’ve taken a stand against PFAS in our products.

All our rainwear and snow outerwear, from ski jackets to pants, are happily PFAS-free (except for zips and pulls). The waterproof membranes and coatings across our snow and adventure glove collections are PFAS-free. Better yet, all our midlayer garment fabrics, waterproof membranes and zips are PFAS-free.

And we’re not stopping there.

By 2025, all our outerwear zips and pulls will also be PFAS-free. By 2026 we are working towards being 100% PFAS-free across all our footwear collections too.

Why switching to PFAS-free is challenging

We know these chemicals are no good for the planet and us, so why do people keep using them?

Complex supply chains

Overhauling supply chains is tricky business and requires a number of factors - identifying alternative suppliers, assessing capabilities, necessitating coordination among multiple stakeholders and most annoyingly, waiting for the tech to catch up with commercial needs.

It’s a tough gig and can take months and even years to navigate.

Performance and durability concerns

Finding alternatives that match the performance and durability of PFAS-containing materials is crucial and requires extensive testing to meet quality standards. The tech is definitely improving, but there is still a way to go. For instance, our own PFAS-free gear, we recommend a little extra TLC, washing after every few uses with a PFAS-free tech wash to restore the water repellency of your gear.

  • Current PFAS Regulation in the United States

    A series of bills are now regulating and banning the use of PFAS in consumer products:

  • Current PFAS regulation in across the European Union

    The EU have introduced similar regulations to the US.

    • Ban on PFAS treated chemicals in EU effective 1 Jan 2025 and fully eliminated by 1 Jan 2028
  • Current PFAS regulation in Australia

    Unfortunately for us Aussies, Australia is well behind the eightball when it comes to PFAS restricitons and bans.

    The Aussie goverment is yet to introduce any regulations or bans at this stage. But we're not letting that stop us here at XTM.

We are 100% Carbon Neutral

As we try to eliminate PFAS from our entire collection, you can be happy to know that each and every XTM product is always 100% Carbon Neutral.