Outdoor specialist Jack Wolfskin is going to collaborate with two leading research centres to ban all pollutants from its production. By 2020 the German company even wants to stop the use of fluorine chemistry completely. The company will be investing about one million per year for this.
2020 may seem far away, but it is still a fairly ambitious goal to ban all pollutants by the end of this decade. “The technical possibilities today don’t allow the production of sustainable and effective outdoor wear that still offers protection from the weather, without the usage of chemicals such as PFC’s”, they say at the German outdoor specialist.
That is why Jack Wolfskin will engage in a partnership with two of the most renowned research centres in this area: the Helmholtz centre Geesthacht (centre for material and coastal research) and the University Fresenius, who will perform fundamental and applied research for the outdoor specialist.
“We have the will to master the possible replacements of perfluorinated and polyfluorianted chemicals (PFC’s) by 2020, to offer consumers a perfect protection from the weather as well as a preventive protection of the environment”, says Michael Rupp, CEO of Jack Wolfskin.
“We know we have a long and difficult road ahead of us, but with our knowhow and with top partners at our side, we are convinced we can reach our ambitious goals”, Rupp adds.
1 million per year for cleaner production
The company isn’t new to being sustainable: with its membership of the Fair Wear Foundation and the publication of a “social report of suppliers” Jack Wolfskin has had a leading role on social norms in the production countries.
The brand also has a long list of forbidden chemicals: PFC’s such as perfluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorooctanoic acid have been taboo since 2007, while it uses the limits of the OEKO-TEX Standard for other chemicals. Since 2011 the company is also system partner of Bluesign, to reduce the usage of chemicals during the fabrication of materials.
The company already invests more than one million euro per year to have a cleaner production process and it will up that sum over the coming years.
Jack Wolfskin is one of the leading retailers of functional outdoor clothing, shoes and equipment in Europe and also the largest franchisor in the German sporting goods sector. In Europe and Asia their products can be found in more than 600 franchise stores and over 4,000 multi-brand shops. The company with headquarters in German Idstein had sales of 355 million euro in the financial year 2011 and has 650 employees.