'Forever Chemicals' Will Be Removed from Rei Items by 2026.

‘Forever Chemicals’ Will Be Removed from Rei Items by 2026.

For its more than 1,000 brand partners, outdoor retailer REI Co-op has announced new product standards. These standards include requirements for measuring greenhouse gas emissions and setting goals to reduce emissions, working towards equity with inclusive products and product sizes and equal pricing across sizes, and eliminating all per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from cookware and textiles by fall 2024.

The new Product Impact Standards expand on REI’s current requirements, including as the prohibition of long-chain PFAS in all products and the requirement that all items that will come into contact with food or beverages be bisphenol A-free (BPA).

The new PFAS product requirements come in response to rising PFAS regulation, including a ban in California, which REI released a statement in support of.

'Forever Chemicals' Will Be Removed from Rei Items by 2026.

The company’s PFAS ban mandates that textiles, such as apparel, accessories, packs, bags, cookware, and footwear, be free of chemicals forever. The restriction will begin to apply to professional-grade products supplied by REI partners in the fall of 2026. These products include heavy-duty textiles and equipment for adventures.

PFAS are simply too harmful to be used on our clothing, according to Laurie Valeriano, executive director of Toxic-Free Future, who said REI’s stance sends a strong message to all textile makers.

With this choice, the environmentally conscious business anticipates regulations. By mandating complete ingredient disclosure and risk assessment, REI should ensure that these pervasive, harmful chemicals are replaced with safer alternatives.

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Because they don’t decompose in the environment, PFAS are a class of compounds that have earned the moniker “forever chemicals.” Due to their ability to make cookware non-stick, PFAS are frequently found in cookware. In addition to firefighting foam, these substances are commonly utilized in textiles that are waterproof and stain-resistant.

Although PFAS are often employed in products to increase their durability or ease of use, they have grave consequences for both human health and the environment. Although more research is needed to fully understand how these chemicals affect people and wildlife, experts have so far connected PFAS to problems with reproduction, child development, a higher risk of cancer, and poorer immune responses to vaccinations and infections.

Numerous businesses, like VF Corporation (which owns well-known brands including Timberland and The North Face), Lowe s, and 3M, have already implemented PFAS limitations.

'Forever Chemicals' Will Be Removed from Rei Items by 2026.

Even though it is well renowned for its environmental policies, REI was singled out in a campaign by Toxic-Free Future for being slow to outlaw PFAS as other businesses and governments increased their prohibitions on long-lasting chemicals.

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Together with the ban on PFAS, REI’s new product standards for 2023 call for brand partners to evaluate their greenhouse gas emissions and establish reduction goals, as well as to provide inclusive sizing, including price equality across sizes, and inclusive product options for various hair types.

According to REI, the company has also established its own emissions reduction targets under the Science Based Targets project (SBTi), with the aim of cutting emissions by 55% by 2030 as compared to a 2019 baseline.

Vishal Rana

Vishal is working as a Content Editor at Enviro360. He covers a wide range of topics, including media, energy, weather, industry news, daily news, climate, etc. Apart from this, Vishal is a sports enthusiast and loves to play cricket. Also, he is an avid moviegoer and spends his free time watching Web series and Hollywood Movies.

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