Our PFC Pledge

At Macpac, we are passionate and experienced outdoors enthusiasts always looking for ways to seek out new experiences in our own backyards and beyond.

We’re also extremely passionate about doing our bit to protect the environment, so that future generations can enjoy it as much as we do.

There’s been some recent press targeted at the global outdoor industry, in particular towards The North Face and Mammut, as a result of a recent Greenpeace campaign to raise their concerns about this industry’s ’ use of PFCs (per- and  poly-fluorinated chemicals) in their DWR (durable water repellency) treated garments.

PFCs are man-made compounds that have been used for decades in the manufacturing process for a wide range of products – from non-stick frypans through to cosmetics. They’re known for their ability to make materials anti-stain and water-resistant and are highly effective in the waterproofing process for rainwear, sleeping bags, shoes and packs.

Traces of PFCs have been found in remote wilderness areas around the world, and like many modern chemicals, concerns have been raised around the impacts of these traces on the environment. Previously, outdoor gear manufacturers have used a type of long-chain PFC called C8, but since its effects on the environment have been called into question, the vast majority of outdoor brands have begun to transition to a newer generation short chain PFC known as C6. While this is not a perfect solution, it is widely acknowledged that the shorter structure of C6 PFCs means that they have the ability to break down faster than their C8 counterparts.

Macpac shared industry-wide concerns around C8 PFCs, so in 2012 we started to transition away from C8 PFCs in favour of C6s. We are really pleased to report that by this summer this transition will be complete, with the majority of winter 2016 product already using C6.

At present, we are confident that our decision to switch to C6 PFC’s is the best option available to us while we continue to investigate alternatives as they become commercially available. It’s important to us that we care for the environment as best we can, without compromising on product performance.

As well as cutting out C8 PFCs entirely, we have also significantly cut down the amount of chemicals we are using in our products altogether, removing all unnecessary chemical treatments at every opportunity we can. In many cases, the amount of chemicals used in our DWR-treated garments for summer will be halved.

We are pleased that outdoor brands such as The North Face, Patagonia and Arc’teryx are looking for more environmentally-friendly solutions. In fact, Industry giant The North Face has just last month made an ambitious commitment to operate PFC-free from 2020 – and Macpac pledges to do the same.

Most manufacturing processes have an environmental impact, and we always strive to limit that at Macpac while producing quality gear that lasts.

If you have any further questions regarding our products, please contact press@macpac.co.nz