One of the main challenges for the textile industry is regulating its use of chemicals as part of the manufacturing process.
All Carhartt WIP products have to pass detailed expert testing procedures and comply with strict regulations. Our Restricted Substances List (RSL) helps us prevent the use of harmful chemicals, protecting both the customer’s health and the environment. In accordance with international laws and regulations, the list represents our minimum requirements when it comes to chemical management and is updated on a yearly basis. We also work closely with our suppliers to help them to meet the requirements of our Restricted Substances List.
Additionally, we continue to seek out new and innovative processes, to reduce the use of harmful chemicals in our products, while maintaining the same level of quality. One example is Perfluorocarbons (PFC), typically found in water resistant products, which can be hazardous for both the environment and wearer. PFCs are not biodegradable, and researchers have found the chemical in contaminated meat and fish, drinking water, and human tissue.
In 2017, we set ourselves the goal of eliminating PFCs from all our products. The process involved extensive testing, research, and cooperation with our partners in various supply chains, in order to create a product that still looked and performed the same way, but without the use of PFCs.
In 2018, we carried out a year of intensive testing, applying environmentally friendly alternatives to our products, which were due to be released the following year. Some fabrics were too rigid, while others would end up with chalk-like marks on them after washing. We were not able to entirely eliminate PFCs in a single collection. The process did, however, allow us to find many suitable alternatives that we began to implement.
In 2019, building on the strides we had already made, we closed out our 2021 collections with no products containing PFCs. This new standard is something we will maintain for all collections going forward.