Footwear Brand Awarded for Going 100% PFC-Free

Keen Footwear awarded the prestigious Good Housekeeping 2021 Sustainability Innovation Award for its work to keep its products PFC-free.

Keen has announced that Good Housekeeping awarded the brand the Good Housekeeping 2021 Sustainability Innovation Award for its Detox the Planet initiative that keeps perfluorochemicals (PFCs) and per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) out of its footwear.

PFCs/PFAS, a class of about 5,000 fluorinated chemicals also referred to as “forever chemicals,” are often used in water repellent finishes in every-day products. These toxic chemicals enter the environment where the chemicals, components and finished products are manufactured, through contaminated water or waste, and spread easily, posing health risks to humans and animals.

In 2014, Keen committed to eliminating PFCs from its supply chain, and successfully went PFC free across its full footwear line in 2018.  This year, Keen went a step further and open sourced its process to go PFC Free via its Green Paper: The Road to PFC Free Footwear, so other brands can embrace the same journey faster and more efficiently.

PFCs – a problem that won’t go away

Each year, a team of experts from Good Housekeeping acknowledges innovation and excellence with its renowned Good Housekeeping Awards. With a 12-year history, this celebrated and influential awards program has a team of judges, comprised of scientists, analysts, and experts from the Good Housekeeping Institute, which vet thousands of submissions across 11 consumer product categories from brands in many industries resulting in the prestigious award distinction for 7 brands.

“To be recognized for these efforts by Good Housekeeping underscores the importance of this issue,” says Erik Burbank VP of Keen Effect.

“Our journey to eliminate these chemicals has been a top priority at Keen.  PFCs/PFAS are so pervasive, they bioaccumulate and don’t break down, which is why they’re called forever chemicals. Keen’s goal is to not only remove these toxins from our line, but also, to help other brands do the same. We have a proven method to replace these chemicals with safe, affordable, effective alternatives, and we want to share these learnings to protect people and the planet.”


About Detox the Planet

Established in 2014, Keen’s Detox the Planet Initiative was created to take proactive action against harmful chemicals in its supply chain by identifying, removing, and replacing them with safe and effective alternatives.

Committed to eliminating everything that shouldn’t be in its products and discovering eco-friendly alternatives, one hundred percent of Keen’s leather comes from zero liquid waste tanneries, as its designers have eliminated dangerous antimicrobial chemicals and biocides from their footbeds. The brand continues to aggressively seek out innovative solutions, including the harvesting and upcycling of waste, to use the earth’s resources wisely and lessen Keen’s overall impact on the planet.


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