29 Jan Haglöfs Pulls Boot from Shelves Over Greenpeace
Haglöfs, the Swedish outdoor brand, withdrew its Grym hiking boot from stores after Greenpeace found high levels of the fluorocarbon PFOA in the boot in its latest review of outdoor products.
Fluorocarbons is a group of chemicals that are used to make products water and dirt repellent. The concentration of the fluorocarbon PFOA was higher than the allowed limits in Norway.
“We are grateful that Greenpeace has drawn our attention to the fact that our boot contains a high amount of the fluorocarbon PFOA, which neither we nor the Norwegian law accept,” said Lennart Ekberg, Sustainability Director at Haglöfs.
Today Haglöfs uses other, less environmentally damaging fluorocarbons in the products with extremely high water repellency requirements. For other products, where the demand for water repellency is not as important, Haglöfs use fluorocarbon-free alternatives.
“We are working to fully eliminate the use of fluorocarbons in our products,” said Ekberg. “But so far we lack a safe and functional alternative when there is an extreme demand for water repellency.”
The Greenpeace review covered 40 outdoor products from eleven renowned brands. In only four of the tested products no concentrations of fluorocarbons were found. Norway is so far the only country that has set a limit for the use of the fluorocarbon PFOA, which was found in the boot Grym.
Haglöfs is a member of bluesign, an international standard which, among other things, aim to reduce and replace all the chemicals that are potentially hazardous to health and the environment. Haglöfs is also participating in an EU funded research project, SUPFES, which has the mission to develop effective fluorocarbon-free waterproofing.
Haglöfs’ outdoor apparel footwear and gear is primarily marketed to 25 European and Asian markets. Sales for 2014 amounted to SEK 766 million. The company has been owned by Asics Corporation since 2010.