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Leading retail and clothing brands lack commitment to stop use of dangerous PFAS, report shows

Pfas_1 Indoor Apparel BrandsA scorecard ranking PFAS policy commitments from leading retail and apparel brands shows that Levi Strauss & Co. earned the highest mark for already eliminating PFAS from its supply chain. However, brands such as Macy’s Inc., Nordstrom, Costco, and others received low or failing marks, according to Natural Resources Defense Council, Fashion FWD, and U.S. PIRG Education Fund, the groups that sponsored the study.

Pfas_2 Outdoor Apparel BrandsPopular outdoor brands largely received poor grades. Columbia Sportswear, REI, Wolverine Worldwide, parent company of Wolverine and Merrell, and others received “F”s. Patagonia Inc. earned a “B”, the highest score in the sector, as the only outdoor brand with a commitment to phase out all PFAS in all products by 2024.

Pfas_3 Apparel Retailers“This scorecard empowers consumers to use their shopping power for good,” said Sujatha Bergen, director of Health Campaigns for the NRDC.Commitments from major apparel brands and retailers, alongside comprehensive policy changes, can significantly help combat PFAS pollution.”

It’s especially unacceptable and ironic for the outdoor apparel space to have scored as poorly as they did on PFAS, said Bergan.

Pfas_4 Shoes and Sports Apparel“We need to hold multibillion dollar outdoor brands like Columbia accountable for exacerbating the PFAS crisis,” she said.”

PFAS are a class of toxic “forever chemicals” that pose a threat to air, water, and consumer product safety across the United States. They’re highly mobile and hard to break down, resulting in widespread contamination in the environment with inefficient options for mass cleaning.

Because many of these compounds accumulate in the body, PFAS-coated clothing may increase health risks over time through the exposures that come with each wearing, according to the Environmental Working Group. Any use of these chemicals is concerning and consumers should eliminate exposure as much as possible, because of potential health harms, the EWG recommends.

Comments

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Jennifer

Sad to see that among the retailers we get to choose between a D or F-rated company. Or that one of the only shoes that bring comfort to my feet besides Birkenstock are Skechers with an F

Rita

It's also discouraging to see REI, a co-op with lots of members who work for environmental causes, at the bottom of the list.

Carol Cassara

I always learn something new from you, Rita.

Rita

Thanks, Carol. That's why I'm a blogger. So many of these consumers issues aren't widely known and I want to get them out to the public.

Rebecca Forstadt Olkowski

I'm shocked at some of them, especially Columbia. Wow!

Rita

Yes, also seeing Macy’s Inc., Nordstrom, and Costco on the list is concerning.

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