As knowledge increases with regards to the environmental effects of plastic waste, questions have been raised about the impact of synthetic fibres shedding from textiles and clothing. Montane is committed to working with our textile suppliers and organisations such as the European Outdoor Group (EOG) to continuously monitor the situation and the viable options available, which can help to limit the impact of the products we produce.
What can you do to limit microfiber shedding?
- Invest: Higher quality materials will last longer as well as shedding less micro fibres when washed. Montane strongly believes that committing to quality materials from reputable fabric mills allows our products to be as durable as possible, extending their lifespan and lowering their environmental impact.
- Wash Less: Only wash your kit when absolutely necessary, to reduce water consumption, limit microfibre shedding and extend the lifetime of your garment. Many of Montane’s next to skin products are treated with Polygiene, a Bluesign approved anti odour treatment which reduces the need for regular washing whilst keeping the wearer smelling fresh!
- Catch the microfibres: Research has shown that front-loading washing machines reduce the quantity of microfibres shed during a wash cycle. To further reduce this consider using a GUPPYFRIEND washing bag or a Cora Ball to catch the micro fibres and prevent them from contaminating waterways.
Montane continues to work closely with our fabric suppliers to introduce the latest recycled materials to our product range where possible, helping to reduce demand on virgin fibres made from oil. In turn this helps reduce CO2 emissions and limit quantities of virgin fibre ending up in landfill.
Performance and longevity are at the heart of our designs, and where these are not compromised we have integrated recycled fabrics from suppliers including PERTEX, POLARTEC, PRIMALOFT and Allied Feather and Down into our range.
The DWR (Durable Water Repellent) chemical treatment commonly used on outdoor products amongst other industries includes the use of PFC's (Per Flourinated Compounds) which provide superior water and oil repellency, ensuring water resistance that both protects the wearer and extends the lifetime of the product. Effective DWR's prevent garments from wetting out, ensuring prolonged comfort as well as protecting the waterproof membrane from oils and greases.
In recent years growing concerns have emerged regarding the use of PFCs. As the carbon chains break down, the carbon molecules are subsequently released into the environment. These molecules do not break down and have been found almost everywhere on the planet. One way to reduce this process is to use shorter chemical chains, made up of fewer carbon molecules.
Montane has worked hard to eliminate C8 (8 carbon molecules) DWR chemicals from our supply chain by switching all of our nominated materials to a C6 (6 carbon molecules) DWR. Our longer term goal is to completely eliminate PFCs from our supply chain and we are working with nominated partner mills who are trialling new chemistry. As yet we are unsatisfied with the level of performance which can be met from PFC free technologies for our more technical products designed for use in extreme environments, and will continue to monitor the alternatives as they emerge.
In Autumn Winter 2015, Montane became the first brand in the world to implement the Responsible Down Standard (RDS) across our entire down collection.
The RDS is a comprehensive global, third-party-certified, animal welfare and traceability standard for down and feathers. The RDS ensures that the down in a product does not come from birds that have been live-plucked or force-fed and that their welfare has been protected from the time they were hatchlings to when the down is harvested.
The entire supply chain – farms, collectors, slaughterhouses, down processors, sewing factories and distribution centres – are inspected by independent, professional certification bodies annually to guarantee complete traceability and compliance.
Montane’s Primino product range uses a blend of 50% Australian Merino wool with 25% Primaloft and 25% polyester. All of the Merino wool used in this range is certified mulesing free which prohibits the act of mulesing. This act describes a form of treatment for fly strike, common in merino sheep, where infected flesh is removed from sheep often without the use of anaesthetic.
Whilst regular shearing and anti-biotics can be used to prevent and treat fly strike, these are more time consuming and expensive for farmers. They are ultimately more humane however which is why Montane places importance in ensuring all of the merino wool we are sourcing is certified mulesing free.
With huge quantities of insecticides, pesticides and water being used in conventional cotton production, Montane has committed all of our t-shirts to using 100% organic cotton. This gives cotton farmers greater flexibility, protects them from first-hand chemical use and prevents chemicals from draining into local waterways used for agriculture and drinking water.
CLICK HERE to browse Montane's selection of organic cotton t-shirts.
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is commonly used for the screen printing of garments, in conjunction with plasticisers such as phthalates. Prints are heat fixed to fabrics to ensure durability throughout their lifespan, however, phthalates can leach out from garment manufacturers wastewater, and even onto the wearer's skin after purchase. Phthalates have been linked to disrupting hormone levels as well as being a suspected carcinogen. For this reason, Montane only use printing inks which are free from PVC and phthalates.
The t-shirt manufacturer Montane uses is also GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified, as is their local dye house. This ensures that any wastewater is processed in line with GOTS certification, and monitored at regular intervals to maintain this and ensure zero discharge of effluents (chemical residues) into local water systems.