Glen Raven Inc. announced it has begun to phase out PFAS chemicals across its global fabric portfolio. The company began incorporating optimal non-PFAS solutions into production last month and all production will be transitioned to non-PFAS by the end of 2023. In addition, all new fabric designs, including for the company’s flagship Sunbrella® brand, will be specified as non-PFAS and will be produced using the company’s new non-PFAS solution.
“Since 2015, our global research and development team has been working with accredited research laboratories and universities to evaluate and develop the best alternatives to PFAS-based finishes,” said Dave Swers, president and COO of Glen Raven Custom Fabrics. “We have invested significantly in this work and the solutions we’re introducing will allow us to continue providing anyone who purchases our fabrics with the best-in-class performance they expect while minimizing our environmental impact as an organization. Our Sunbrella Contract fabrics have included non-PFAS solutions since 2019 and we look forward to implementing non-PFAS solutions across our portfolio.”
While Sunbrella performance begins at the fiber level and is strengthened by proprietary processes, a PFAS-based solution was previously used to enhance repellency of Sunbrella fabrics. The transition to a non-PFAS solution will not impact the ability to clean Sunbrella but will result in reduced levels of oil repellency, an industry-wide challenge that is not exclusive to Sunbrella. In anticipation of this challenge, Glen Raven recently developed a new and proprietary cleaning solution, Sunbrella® Extract™ Oil-Based Stain Remover, to aid in the removal of oil-based stains. This cleaning product is also compatible with previously produced Sunbrella fabrics.
Sunbrella fabrics will retain their durability, vibrant color, appearance, softness, texture and strength. They will continue to perform due to the brand’s proprietary Color to the Core™ technology that ensures each fiber of every yarn is saturated to the core with highly researched, customized UV-stable pigments and formulations. In addition, the brand will continue to carry the same comprehensive industry-leading warranty.
The new non-PFAS chemistry meets all regulatory requirements. Sunbrella upholstery fabrics will continue to carry their third-party GREENGUARD Gold® and OEKO-TEX® certifications verifying that these fabrics have low chemical emissions, are safe to use next to the skin and are not produced with any harmful substances.
“We are confident in the integrity of this decision for our business and look forward to working closely with our partners to navigate this transition as an industry,” said Swers.
Glen Raven’s conversion to non-PFAS production by the end of the year will allow the company to work with customers to transition inventories in advance of the recently enacted regulations in several states. Glen Raven will continue to share more specifics with its partners directly as the transition continues. This transition is not expected to disrupt the company’s lead times or service levels.