A recent press release announced H&M will ban the use of PFC’s on all of its clothes as of 2013. PFCs are an industrial chemical used mostly to repel water and oil in clothing. PFC is a persistent environmental chemical, much like DDT, in that once it enters and ecosystem, it stays forever. Used heavily after WW2, on fabrics such as Teflon and Gore-Tex, H&M says they have found an alternative to the chemical that, “fulfills demands on water repellence and has good environmental and health properties.”
They have also teamed up with companies like Adidas, Nike, Puma, C&A and Li Ning, to develop a road map towards zero discharge of hazardous chemicals by 2020.
This action attests to H&M’s trailblazing stance in the fashion world. In 2010, the company released The Garden Collection Line, The line included fabrics like Tencel, a fabric from wood pulp of trees, recycled polyester, organic cotton and organic linen.
Although they certainly are paving the way forward to bind Multi-National Corporations and sustainable fashion and uphold robust corporate social responsibility values, in 2008, the company reported, 73% of their suppliers production units had legal monthly overtime violations. Since then they have worked to address this issue.
As of January 1, 2013, any order placed will be produced without using the compound.