By what date will REI mandate that all tents it sells and rents are flame retardant free?
Dear REI employee(s)-
I am very concerned that REI sells and rents tents under its own brand as well as from other companies that contain flame retardants which are known carcinogens and not required by any law. These flame retardants were originally only required by 7 misguided states yet everyone is buying the same toxic tents across the US given the REI supply chain.
What makes this worse is there is a new standard for flame retardants (ASTM-F3431) was completed in June 2020. REI takes some credit for the new standard in its May 25, 2021 blog post (REI Pursuing New Method to Eliminate Flame Retardants) for getting the standard passed, "REI Co-op and a cohort of leading tent manufacturers in the Outdoor Industry Association played an instrumental role in creating the new ASTM F3431 standard" which means REI has known this was coming for well over 1 year now (writing this as of July 2021).
1+ years is plenty of time for REI to tell it's suppliers to stop spraying toxic materials on fabrics and even to sell the rest of the toxic inventory despite REI knowing this is not good for consumers, the environment, factory workers, etc. REI has know about this issue for well over a year and has only transitioned 1 tent to be flame retardant free and does not seem to have made any progress on having other suppliers get rid of flame retardants; seems like there is something else at play. I went to my local store and the reps knew less about it than I did.
So two questions: 1. How hard is it for Eric Artz (REI's current CEO and who spent 7 years previously on supply chain as COO and CFO) to spend 5 minutes thinking logically about this and making a decision to get the ball moving and get rid of unnecessary toxic chemicals? 2. By what date will REI commit to stop selling and renting tents that have toxic flame retardants?
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