The global apparel industry accounts for high amounts of manufacturing chemicals use, and the discharge of these chemicals can threaten local water sources and affect people living in surrounding communities.
By Fall 2023
100% of water repellent, stain repellent, and/or weather resistant products are made without PFCs
100% of fabrics with PFC-based finishes* were successfully converted or exited. At the Gap Inc. level, 95% of apparel & accessories units with water repellent or stain resistant performance were produced without PFCs up from 38% in 2021, and 7% in 2020). About 1% of apparel & accessories units at the Gap Inc. level had a water repellent or stain resistant finish, down from 1.5% in 2021.
*PFC-based finishes (which we define as those based on PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are no longer being used intentionally in production. Most products available for purchase as of January 1, 2023 are produced without PFC-based finishes, but due to transportation and store inventory timelines and strategies, some styles available for purchase will still have a PFC-based finish.
Our chemical restrictions, including our Restricted Substances List (RSL), Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (MRSL), and PFC Policy, are informed by global regulations, hazard- and risk-based considerations, and industry guidelines including the AFIRM Group RSL, ZDHC MRSL, and ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines. We communicate our requirements to our suppliers via our Code of Vendor Conduct (COVC) and Mill Minimum Expectations.
We aim to eliminate the discharge of hazardous chemicals within our supply chain, and we are working to phase out chemicals of particular concern, including by eliminating PFCs from our supply chain. . To empower our brands to make informed decisions and support supplier compliance, we have created an internal Dyeing, Finishing and Wet Processing toolkit. To facilitate compliance with our PFC Policy, we maintain an internal list of acceptable non-PFC-based finishes and materials for water repellent and weather-resistant performance, which we share with our suppliers.
Our approach to chemicals management includes three key components:
Chemicals are an essential and unavoidable component of manufacturing and are used throughout the supply chain. We also recognize that chemical discharge can impact water and air quality and the health of ecosystems and people. It is difficult to obtain robust information on chemicals used across the supply chain and identifying and using better chemicals requires coordination across Research and Development, Quality, Sourcing, and external stakeholders, sometimes leading to other trade-offs. Even when robust manufacturing controls are in place, finished product can still contain low levels of unintentional chemicals resulting from environmental contamination, use of recycled materials, or other sources.