PFCs (perfluorinated and polyfluorinated compounds) are a group of man-made chemicals that are thought to be harmful to our health (human, animal, and environment). Once released, they disperse widely and degrade very slowly, over several hundred years.
PFCs can be found in a wide range of everyday items, such as kitchenware, food containers, paints, carpets, paper and even clothing. These harmful chemicals are mainly utilized for their water, grease and dirt repellent properties, which is why PFCs are particularly popular in the outdoor industry as a means for improving textile performance (i.e. making fabrics repel water, to not soak up water).
Harmful perfluorinated and polyfluorinated chemicals - PFCs for short - do not degrade or degrade only with great difficulty and therefore accumulate in humans, animals and plants.
As of Summer 2020, all Deuter products are fully free from harmful PFCs. We are now using a non-harmful (fully PFC-free), renewably sourced, non-fluorinated DWR (Durable Water Repellency) that is bluesign® approved, which allows water to bead off the surface of the fabric. Deuter backpacks can also be protected with a waterproof rain cover for more extreme weather conditions.
Becoming fully PFC-free has been a huge challenge for any outdoor company, as there have been no comparable alternatives to these harmful chemicals for quite some time. It was only when Greenpeace launched its “Detox My Fashion” campaign in 2012 that suppliers and the chemical industry started to work toward alternatives. At Deuter, we have devoted tremendous time and resources to finding an environmentally friendly PFC-free DWR that does not compromise product functionality or durability. With this move to be PFC-free, Deuter is among the early leaders to take a hard stance on the importance of running a sustainable business.