Durable water repellent (DWR) helps water to bead off our waders and rainwear, it also repels dirt, allowing our gear to perform at the highest level. The DWRs contain perfluorinated compounds (PFCs). These chemicals are used in waterproof outdoor apparel as well as many more common household items such as nonstick cookware and paints.
Researching the types of chemicals that go into the waterproofing of our jackets and trousers is where we found some really nasty realities. While there are no health risks when using the jackets, there are significant health and safety concerns caused by the by-products in DWR production, and if these by-products are later dumped inappropriately in landfills. One particularly concerning by-product, is the highly toxic perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).
In the past, Riverworks used the industry standard DWR called C8, which is highly effective and phenomenally durable. Unfortunately, its production results in a large amount of PFOA byproduct being created which does not decompose. Despite its high performance and that this is still being used by our competitors, the environmental and health concerns make it unacceptable for us to continue to use.
Currently, the best available alternative, which results in significantly less PFOA and doesn’t sacrifice garment durability, is the DWR C6. This alternative to C8 is more expensive to produce and not as effective performance wise, but in accordance with our Sustainability Promise, we will not compromise on our environmental and social responsibility. It was therefore an easy decision to adopt C6 as our DWR for the Riverworks 2018 range.
Technology evolves rapidly and we strive to keep up with it. When a higher performing environmentally friendly DWR comes to market we will be the first to adopt it.
We hope that you will support our environmentally conscious stance.