I have an old REI jacket with PFAS and was disappointed to learn of this. Today, I purchased some reflective ankle bands and after the fact, found myself wondering if they also contain PFAS. I'll cancel my order if it turns out I am Adding to the pollution by this purchase.
Thank you for reaching out with your concerns.
In another thread where a user asked about PFAS-free outerwear, we connected with our sustainability team regarding this topic and here is what they had to say:
Durable Water Repellents (DWR): Concerns about the toxicity and environmental persistence of certain durable water repellents (DWR) is driving a transition in the industry. As of 2019 product lines, REI has eliminated DWR treatments that contain long-chain PFAS from our supply chain. Use of short-chain PFAS alternatives is a positive stepping stone while we explore non-fluorinated alternatives, which we believe will eventually provide the best balance of performance and environmental stewardship.
While the industry is working to transition away from the use of PFAS in manufacturing water-repellent apparel, most brands still use short-chain PFAS-based chemistry due to its performance and durability. As noted previously, REI’s Co-op Brands has moved away from the use of long-chain PFAS for the DWR treatments used on our products. In addition, we’re a committed bluesign® System Partner and use bluesign®-approved materials for the majority of our apparel fabrics, including the recycled ripstop nylon shell used in the REI Co-op Rainier Rain Jacket we currently have in-store. Bluesign® is a group that works with brands and factories to certify the chemical inputs, materials, and suppliers that create certified products. The Bluesign® system focuses on consumer safety, resource use, occupational health and safety for workers, and water and air emissions. You can learn more about Bluesign® in REI’s Expert Advice article on the topic.
If you’re looking for PFAS-free rain jackets, there are a handful of options currently at REI, including the North Face FUTURELIGHT series (available here) and the Marmot PreCip Eco Jacket (available here). PFAS-free options will likely become more common in the future as brands continue to innovate and develop additional PFAS-free durable water-repellent technologies that perform as well as those that use PFAS.
If you are interested in more information, you can check out our Sustainable Product Practices page.
Hopefully this helps, thanks!