PORTLAND, Ore.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Columbia Sportswear’s highly-acclaimed OutDry Extreme ECO Jacket hits shelves starting today, available exclusively at REI. This revolutionary shell marks a milestone in sustainability as it is the first high-performance, environmentally-friendly, waterproof breathable jacket made without the use of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs).
Columbia is partnering with hip-hop artist and environmental advocate Macklemore to help raise awareness on the impact that PFCs can have on the environment. Macklemore, aka Ben Haggerty, finds inspiration and solace in the forests in the Pacific Northwest and other natural places around the world. Columbia is launching a new video featuring Macklemore and his thoughts on environmentally responsible rainwear, which can be seen online here.
The issue of PFCs in rainwear is complex and has a long history in the outerwear industry. Conventional rain jackets repel water by incorporating synthetic compounds known as PFCs. PFCs retain an incredibly strong molecular bond, which makes them great at repelling water but presents a potentially serious environmental issue since these compounds are persistent in nature environments and have been found to be bio-accumulative in animals and humans. With this new jacket, Columbia set its sights on delivering a new approach to rainwear that does not rely on the use of PFCs but still stands up to the toughest, wettest conditions in the outdoors.
The result of years of development at Columbia’s campus in Portland, Oregon, the OutDry Extreme ECO Jacket is the ultimate sustainable waterproof breathable solution for extreme conditions. This environmentally-responsible shell builds upon Columbia’s high-performance OutDry Extreme platform and elevates it further with a waterproof membrane made without PFCs and features a 100% recycled, dye-free fabric making it one of the greenest ways for outdoor enthusiasts to waterproof. (Note that no PFCs are intentionally used in the manufacturing process, but may contain trace amounts.) Each jacket is also made of 21 recycled plastic bottles and saves approximately 13 gallons of water by choosing to keep it dye-free. (To learn more, go here.)
“We set out to make the greenest, highest performance jacket in the world,” said Woody Blackford, Columbia’s VP of Innovation and Design. “Manufacturing the jacket without relying on PFCs was a critical step, but we went even further by building it from recycled bottles, using recycled trims, and keeping more than 13 gallons of wastewater out of the process by going dye-free.”
Since its unveiling, the OutDry Extreme ECO Jacket has garnered some of the industry’s top accolades. National Geographic recently named it the “Greenest Jacket Yet” as part of their “Gear of the Year” awards. At this summer’s Outdoor Retailer trade show, the jacket received an Editors’ Choice Award from Popular Mechanics, and was named “Best in Show” by Gearjunkie.com as well as “Gear of the Show” by Outside Magazine.
For more information on the issue of PFCs and an in-depth look at the technical aspects of the OutDry Extreme ECO Jacket, please visit Columbia’s blog.
Columbia’s OutDry Extreme ECO Jacket is now available in two styles in both men’s and women’s, priced at $199, and can be found exclusively at REI stores nationwide and REI.com the month of December. In early 2017, the jackets will be available at Columbia.com and select Columbia stores.
For more details on Columbia’s other environmental efforts, please visit the company’s Corporate Responsibility Report.
Columbia, the flagship brand of Portland, Oregon-based Columbia Sportswear Company, has been creating innovative apparel, footwear, accessories and equipment for outdoor enthusiasts since 1938. Columbia has become a leading global brand by channeling the company’s passion for the outdoors into technologies and performance products that keep people warm, dry, cool and protected year-round. To learn more, please visit the company’s website at www.columbia.com.
This year, Grammy-Award winning rapper Macklemore and producer Ryan Lewis self-released ‘This Unruly Mess I’ve Made,’ the follow up to their multi-PLATINUM, award winning 2012 album ‘The Heist.’ This fall, Macklemore released two solo songs: “Wednesday Morning” and “Drug Dealer” featuring Ariana DeBoo.