Detox Update

Our Detox Commitment

In January 2016, Páramo Clothing joined the ranks of companies signed up to the Greenpeace Detox Commitment – the first outdoor company to sign up and announce this important commitment to our customers and the planet.

This was something that we were both proud and excited about, and we still are. Our commitment means officially stating our manufacturing ‘restricted substances’ list, plus persuading and supporting all our fabric suppliers in both testing and publicly disclosing the waste water discharge content with regards to groups of chemicals ‘of concern’. Not all these chemicals are necessarily illegal, but Greenpeace rightly require that they are phased out quickly and that their use is communicated transparently.

A single brand is not powerful enough to sway a major fabric mill away from all chemicals on this list, but a coalition of brands can be. That’s what we are trying to achieve.

PFC-free, but it’s not always easy

In 2013, we began the journey to eradicate PFC treatments on Páramo clothing throughout our supply chain. We have been 100% guaranteed PFC-free since April 2016. 

We identified that we needed to encourage our suppliers to submit environmental declarations and discharge tests. The first was easily done; the second: not so simple.

Discharge testing is quite straightforward in theory: you take some samples, you book the lab time and send the samples off. But – and it’s a big but – you have to first reassure and communicate with suppliers that this isn’t going to be used as stick to beat them with. We did not recognise this initially, and it slowed the process down substantially.

It’s taken more than 10 months to get to where we thought we could get to in 3 months. We will have over 60% of our fabric suppliers discharge tested and published in the next couple of weeks. It’s been a long road, but we are hopeful that we will achieve over 80% by Spring 2017.

It’s a journey, not a destination

The components of the Detox commitment are not simply a set of boxes to be ticked, rather they are markers on the road. The Detox commitment is a very important part of our sustainability journey – but there is a lot more to come. We are confident that, in an industry based around the enjoyment and appreciation of the natural outdoor world, we won’t make this journey alone.

We’ve also been working on the other key pillars of the commitment: recycling and lifetime design. We have some exciting new developments in our recycling scheme that are bringing us nearer to closing the loop. More on this to follow…..

Leave a response