Case Study: Colmar Skiwear with Teflon EcoElite™ Finish

Teflon EcoElite™ Repellents Create a New World of Possibilities

Colmar, the Italian ski-and-activewear company, has been owned and operated by the Colombo family since 1923. We sat down with Managing Director Giulio Colombo and Marketing Manager Stefano Colombo to talk about how they embraced sustainable Teflon™ repellent finishes to meet the demands of their eco-conscious customer base, and about the remarkable following that development has attracted in the marketplace.

Imagine a repellent finish made from 60% renewably sourced plant-based materials.

Imagine one that’s three times more durable than other non-fluorinated finishes. Imagine a textile finish that continues to repel water and water-based stains for 30 washes or more.

Imagine a garment that can reduce its water and energy footprint by 20% to 25%.

Imagine a repellent finish that’s bluesign® approved for meeting sustainable standards in the garment industry.

You’ve just imagined Teflon™—reimagined.

Recently, so did Colmar, the storied Italian skiwear and sportswear company. And this helped them reimagine their apparel finishes for their sophisticated, environmentally demanding customers.

When their customers asked for sustainability, Colmar listened and pioneered a different approach. Consistent with their commitment to the environment for nearly a century, they looked to protect garments with an eco-conscious solution. In this case, Teflon EcoElite™, a durable, water-resistant finish derived from nature and, eventually, returned to nature.

The Challenge

Enter Teflon EcoElite™ from The Chemours Company—the first repellent finishes based on renewable raw materials.

“The consumer is telling us that the future is sustainable,” says Stefano Colombo, Colmar Marketing Manager.

For Chemours, the challenge was to meet the industry need for new technology to deliver water-repellent finishes. A new platform beyond the traditional fluorinated solutions was required.

Teflon EcoElite™ works on a variety of fabrics and is compatible with commonly used finishing auxiliaries, including wetting agents and extenders. And it allows for complete design flexibility, so it’s consistent with Colmar’s reputation as a fashion-forward brand. Not only does it work with almost every fabric, it’s also quite popular with customers.

“The products treated with Teflon EcoElite™ have been the most successful in our collection,” says Stefano.

He says the results have motivated the company to extend the technology to their other lines.

Currently, the Italian apparel company uses Teflon EcoElite™ on 90% of their skiwear and nearly 70% of all garments.

And in the industry overall, the brand is on fire.

In the first half of 2017, more than 12 million hangtags have been issued for Teflon EcoElite™.

Zelan™ R3 from Chemours is the new breakthrough technology behind Teflon EcoElite™. The finish effectively repels water and water-based liquids such as fruit juice, hot coffee, red wine and more.

Critically, Zelan™ R3 has earned the USDA Certified Biobased Product label. The designation verifies that Zelan™ R3 meets or exceeds levels set by the USDA for the amount of renewable, biobased ingredients.

Market research in the United States, Europe, and China has shown that consumers value the Teflon EcoElite™ brand performance and renewability. It says they are willing to pay up to 7% more for outerwear that features Teflon EcoElite™ compared to other branded non-fluorinated products. It also indicates that they will pay at least 17% more than they would for generic water-repellent products. And the good news across industries is that 66% of consumers report that they’re willing to pay more for environmentally responsible products.

In this case, it’s Teflon™. Reimagined.

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