REI announces it will ban PFAS in all textiles

Gerard Ortiz

New determination follows nationwide campaign and point out regulatory actions

Advocates urge REI to be certain substitutes are safer and contact on Dick’s Sporting Products to sign up for REI in banning PFAS “forever chemicals”

SEATTLE, WA—Yesterday, leading outside retailer REI declared it will ban PFAS “forever chemicals” (for each- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) in all textile solutions and cookware from its suppliers, in a big update to its “Product Impression Standards” for its 1,000+ brand name associates. REI’s constraints consider result in the fall of 2024 for cookware and textile products which includes, but not minimal to, clothing, equipment, footwear, packs, and baggage. REI has granted a extended timeline for professional, expedition-level clothing to fall of 2026.

REI’s new coverage determination comes much more than a calendar year right after the launch of the nationwide marketplace marketing campaign, REI, time to “opt-out” of PFAS, led by the Mind the Shop application of Harmful-Absolutely free Foreseeable future in partnership with Safer States and other companies. During the countrywide campaign, countless numbers of people and organizations urged Seattle-based mostly REI to ban PFAS in solutions it sells, by means of letters, petitions, rallies, and social media. Poisonous-Absolutely free Potential revealed an first research, Poisonous Ease, in January 2022, revealing PFAS in non-public-label and brand name name clothes bought at REI and other vendors. Last fall, REI customers and advocates in extra than 20 towns rallied and delivered petitions signed by more than 130,000 people today to REI shops nationwide, demanding the corporation ban PFAS in the products and solutions it sells. Because then, petition signatures have developed to much more than 155,000. Whilst REI tackled PFAS by a statement unveiled in September, the organization did not established a timeline to ban these toxic “forever chemicals”—until now.

REI’s announcement also arrives immediately after numerous states have taken regulatory action on PFAS in apparel and cookware. California, Colorado, Maine, New York, Maine, and Washington have taken actions to control PFAS in attire and cookware through limits, labeling, or disclosure. More condition motion is pending.

REI’s new plan arrives at a time when the production and disposal of PFAS have impacted the consuming drinking water of communities throughout the U.S. and planet, these as at Chemours’ plant in Fayetteville, NC and Daikin’s PFAS facility in Decatur, AL. Irrespective of point out bans and considerable sector shifts away from PFAS, Chemours has proposed to increase its PFAS producing in North Carolina. In the meantime, 3M lately declared a worldwide period-out of PFAS output.

In reaction to REI’s announcement, the following statements had been designed:

“We are so pleased that REI has at last listened to its users. No one’s drinking h2o really should be polluted for a raincoat,” reported Mike Schade, director of Intellect the Shop, a plan of Harmful-Cost-free Future. “Our national marketing campaign initiatives helped make all the variance. REI’s determination will have nationwide impacts by guarding much more men and women from toxic chemicals and by driving ripple outcomes in the marketplace. REI have to consider the following phase and get the job done with its manufacturer associates to be certain the substitutes are genuinely safer for individuals and the earth. And, other stores, like Dick’s Sporting Goods, ought to quickly abide by fit.”

“REI’s motion sends a apparent signal to all clothing corporations that PFAS are just also perilous to be utilized on our clothing,” claimed Laurie Valeriano, govt director of Toxic-Totally free Long run. “With this selection, this sustainability-minded corporation is finding out in advance of regulation. REI should make sure these persistent, poisonous chemical compounds are changed with safer remedies by necessitating whole component disclosure and evaluation for hazards. We are happy that our hometown co-op is leading the way, and appear forward to operating with REI to set a new bar for basic safety.”

“This moment has been years in the creating,” said Cindy Luppi, New England Thoroughly clean Drinking water Motion Director and Safer States Steering Committee member. “Thousands of grassroots voices and REI customers, as well as state legislatures across the nation, have named for leadership in replacing PFAS with safer options. We thank REI for exhibiting how feasible this action is and hope it encourages a lot of extra to stage up and better secure our overall health from ‘forever chemicals.’”

“Prayers have been answered that the endlessly chemicals will no longer be made use of by REI and its suppliers for garments and other textiles,” mentioned Brenda Hampton, founder of Concerned Citizens of WMEL H2o Authority, a grassroots organization operating to thoroughly clean up PFAS consuming h2o contamination from Daikin and 3M all over Decatur, AL.

“Living nicely outside must by no means come with a dose of poisonous chemical compounds, or at the expenditure of a person else, “ said Emily Donovan, co-founder of Clean up Cape Panic, a grassroots group working to restore and defend the air, soil, h2o, and meals offer from PFAS contamination near Chemours in NC.  “Communities like mine deserve security from ongoing PFAS exposures. Thank you, REI, for living up to your values, listening to your clients, and demanding a current market shift.”

ABOUT THE Nationwide Campaign: “REI, TIME TO Opt-OUT OF PFAS!”

Led by Toxic-Cost-free Future’s Intellect the Retail store method in partnership with Safer States, the nationwide campaign urging REI and other merchants to ban PFAS in outdoor attire and other textiles launched in September 2021.

The campaign started with a letter to REI’s CEO, which acquired no official reaction. Following the letter, advocates released on-line petitions to REI in November of 2021. In December 2021, a group of much more than 100 nearby, state, and nationwide businesses sent a letter to REI’s CEO Eric Artz calling on the firm to guide the outdoor apparel sector in a daring changeover away from the entire class of PFAS. In the early winter of 2021, advocates launched social media strategies and held in-individual actions exterior REI shops across the place which includes Anchorage, Miami, New York, Raleigh, and Seattle though handing out leaflets to REI prospects.

The marketing campaign continued in the course of 2022, foremost up to and following the company’s annual member conference. In early 2022, Toxic-Totally free Upcoming unveiled a research  that identified PFAS in most stain- and h2o-resistant products—including goods obtained at REI and other suppliers. In April, REI been given a failing ‘F’ grade in a national scorecard rating PFAS coverage commitments across dozens of stores printed by NRDC, Vogue FWD, and U.S. PIRG Training Fund.

In March, in REI’s dwelling point out of Washington, Governor Inslee signed a monthly bill into regulation (HB 1694) that tackles PFAS “forever chemicals” in a broad selection of products and solutions, like apparel, on the speediest timeline in the nation, by 2025.

When REI invited issues to be submitted for its once-a-year conference, REI customers spoke out on the co-op’s concept board demanding motion on PFAS—totaling extra than 90{05995459f63506108ab777298873a64e11d6b9d8e449f5580a59254103ec4a63} of all reviews. At the assembly in Could 2022, REI management addressed the issue, but failed to dedicate to phasing out PFAS.

Next the member meeting, advocates and REI members took to the streets in Minnesota, North Carolina, and Maine, providing postcards and petitions to REI retail outlet administrators signed by 1000’s of REI customers. The in-particular person actions culminated with a countrywide 7 days of motion in September, with in-person steps taking put in 22 towns in 18 states from September 19-25, 2022. Petition signatures totaling more than 130,000 had been delivered at REI’s flagship retailers in equally New York Town and Seattle in collaboration with companies these kinds of as the JustGreen Partnership.

The marketing campaign ongoing in the months that followed, featuring assessment on the restrictions of third-occasion certifications and the will need for REI to act in 2023, in particular in gentle of laws signed by the Governors of California and New York.

As a result of the course of the marketing campaign, extra than 155,000 on-line e-mails or petitions were being created to REI by associates like Past Plastics, Breast Cancer Avoidance Associates,, Clean Water Action, Buyer Reviews, Defend Our Health and fitness, League of Conservation Voters, North Carolina Conservation Community, Mom and dad Jointly, Safer States, Harmful-Free of charge Upcoming, and U.S. PIRG


Chemical businesses offer PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) for application to products these kinds of as paper and textiles as stain-resistant, water-repellent, and grease-proofing therapies. PFAS have been joined to significant well being issues this sort of as cancer, immune system suppression, amplified cholesterol levels, being pregnant-induced hypertension, liver injury, minimized fertility, and increased danger of thyroid disorder. PFAS are known as “forever” chemical compounds simply because they persist and really do not split down in the natural environment.

Last yr, Harmful-No cost Foreseeable future launched a examine that discovered PFAS in most merchandise labeled stain- and water-resistant, with 72{05995459f63506108ab777298873a64e11d6b9d8e449f5580a59254103ec4a63} tests positive for PFAS—including goods from REI, Amazon, and many others. A 2021 peer-reviewed research led by researchers at Harmful-Free of charge Long term (TFF), the College of Washington, and Indiana College uncovered PFAS in 100{05995459f63506108ab777298873a64e11d6b9d8e449f5580a59254103ec4a63} of breast milk samples examined and that more recent PFAS build up in persons. Poisonous-No cost Future’s investigative report discovered that a PFAS manufacturing facility is a significant supply of the two PFAS air pollution and ozone-depleting chemical substances that lead to wellbeing complications and climate transform.

Point out governments are getting legislative and regulatory steps to period out PFAS in merchandise to avoid contamination in favor of safer options. For case in point, laws in ME and WA have provided condition businesses authority to ban PFAS in a vast array of goods. Maine’s regulation requires products companies to disclose the presence of PFAS. Various states have adopted constraints on PFAS in textiles with CA banning PFAS in just about all textiles by 2025, NY restricting them in attire, CO banning them in upholstered household furniture, and WA moving forward on regulatory steps on a lot of groups of textile goods. Five states (CA, CO, ME, MD, VT) have adopted limits on PFAS in carpets, rugs and aftermarket solutions. Eleven states (CA, CO, CT, Hello, MD, ME, MN, NY, RI, VT, and WA) have enacted state bans on PFAS in food items packaging. CO also adopted limitations on oil and fuel merchandise and personal treatment merchandise. Eleven states including CA, CO, CT, Hello, IL, ME, MD, NH, NY, VT, and WA have set in put bans on the sale of firefighting foam containing PFAS. With legislation adopted last calendar year, WA is analyzing safer alternatives for PFAS in other goods these as clothing, cleaners, coatings and flooring finishes, firefighter turnout gear and others with a timeline of adopting limitations by 2025.

Merchants are ever more adopting safer substances guidelines to remove PFAS in critical product sectors, in accordance to the Retailer Report Card. Quite a few outside and textiles models have introduced insurance policies to cut down and eradicate PFAS. Patagonia has pledged to reduce all PFAS across its overall products line by 2024. In July 2022, Columbia committed to a objective of phasing out PFAS by the end of 2024. In 2021, Polartec declared it was doing away with PFAS in its DWR (tough h2o repellent) treatment plans across its line of overall performance materials. Lowe’s and The Residence Depot are no more time marketing indoor residential carpets or rugs with PFAS, and Lowe’s also fully commited to stop selling material safety sprays with PFAS. Presently, over 30 distinctive retail chains with far more than 150,000 stores and more than $654 billion in income have fully commited to reducing or reducing PFAS in meals packaging, textiles, and/or other solutions.

Poisonous-Free Long run

Harmful-Cost-free Upcoming (TFF) is a national chief in environmental well being analysis and advocacy. By means of the ability of science, schooling, and activism, Toxic-Totally free Long run drives sturdy rules and company obligation that safeguards the health and fitness of all men and women and the earth.


Safer States is an alliance of diverse environmental overall health companies and coalitions from throughout the country dedicated to constructing a healthier globe. By harnessing area-based ability, the alliance will work to safeguard people and the planet from harmful substances and sparks modern methods for a extra sustainable future.


MEDIA Get in touch with

Stephanie Stohler

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