A love of horses and the great outdoors tend to go hand-in-hand, and many equestrians feel strongly about protecting the countryside and natural environment that surrounds us. But did you know that one of your key pieces of equestrian wear - the waterproof coat – could actually be harming the very environment you care so much about.
This is all down to the Durable Water Repellent (DWR) coating that can be found on some outdoor jackets. The DWR element of a product is designed to give the product water and dirt repellent properties. Unfortunately this DWR layer can sometimes contain PFCs.
Polyfluorinated chemicals (known as PFCs) are a man-made chemical that does not occur naturally. Although they offer high levels of water, oil and stain repellency, they are harmful and environmentally damaging chemicals.
As a manufactured chemical, PFC’s don’t break down in nature and can persist for years. Garments treated with PFCs can affect the wearer, and also the environment as the coating washes or rubs off. These chemicals can make their way into water and food sources. There is evidence that some specific PFCs can harm reproduction, affect hormones, and are carcinogenic.
Although there’s still a long way to go, many of the best outdoor, country and equestrian clothing brands are now seeking ways of creating water repellent jackets, coats and outerwear that are better for the planet.
One brand that’s working hard to solve this problem is equestrian brand Ariat. Ariat are phasing in a Durable Water Repellent finish known as EcoDRY, which is being increasingly incorporated across their range of riding coats and waterproof jackets.
Instead of using harmful flourinated polymers (PFCs), Ariat EcoDRY uses hydro-carbons that mimic nature to provide their products with earth-friendly protection against the elements.
The good news is that as well as being more friendly to the environment, you’ll still get the fantastic quality and water repellent features that you love from Ariat’s products.