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2017 Sustainability Report
published 2018/08/01

0 % PVC – 100 % waterproof

VAUDE wants to become completely PVC-free. Better for you, better for the planet.

All products from the VAUDE Manufaktur are PVC-free

Our Made in Germany products are made from waterproof materials that are extremely tough and long lasting. And because we are concerned about the planet, we have fully abstained from using PVC in their manufacturing. You can count on it!


Climate neutral, legendary waterproofness

VAUDE makes an important part of its Bag Collection with climate neutral manufacturing in Obereisenbach. Read more here. Our legendary bike bags, for example, belong to this group. The entire Made in Germany Collection has been fully PVC-free for years.



Completely PVC-free starting Summer 2019

Since the Summer Collection 2017, all special models (for example, those we manufacture here for major customers) have been PVC-free.
The entire Mountain Backpack Collection along with VAUDE tents, apparel and shoes are also 100 % PVC-free. And finally, our entire Packs 'n Bags Collection — and all of our travel bags — will also be PVC-free starting with the Summer 2019 Collection.

 
 

What is actually the problem with PVC?

PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is a very stable and durable plastic that is widely used for hard plastics such as water pipes – but also widely used in the manufacturing of canvas-like products such as truck tarpaulins and even bags.


One problem with the plastic PVC is the phthalates that they often contain. Phthalates are plasticizers that are added to keep PVC from becoming brittle. Phthalates are suspected of being carcinogenic. While strict limits to their use do exist, these have to date only been in effect for children’s products.



Plasticizers can outgas

PVC is not only problematic due to the use of plasticizers; it is problematic throughout its entire lifecycle. PVC itself is inert (non-reactive, non-effective) and non-toxic.

Plasticizers are “only” a problem during their utilization phase as they can outgas from finished PVC. The plasticizers used by VAUDE are approved in accordance with European chemical legislation (REACH).

In addition, the production of PVC and its disposal involves other serious environmental and health problems.

PVC manufacturing is problematic for humans and the environment

PVC production starts with the gas vinyl chloride, which has been known to be carcinogenic since the 1960s. It triggers “vinyl chloride disease” which is recognized as an occupational disease.


In addition, toxic chlorine compounds are used as flame retardants and larger amounts of heavy metals, particularly cadmium, are needed for the production of PVC, which partly remain detectable in the finished product.

 
 

Landfilling of PVC is illegal in Germany

It is virtually impossible to recycle PVC as it consists of various polymers which can only be separated under extremely high energy and water use.


If PVC is deposited in a landfill, plasticizers and other harmful substances such as heavy metals leech into the soil, air and groundwater. In Germany PVC landfilling is illegal.


During the combustion of PVC in incinerators, toxic hydrogen chloride, dioxins and other hazardous pollutants are created. Therefore, PVC is not suitable for energy production through combustion in furnaces or in the cement industry


Guaranteed waterproof

Our Comyou Bag Collection is 100% PVC-free

Waterproof with eco-friendly alternatives

VAUDE will continue to use PVC in some travel bag models until the Summer 2019 Collection. This material does not contain any phthalate plasticizers, is REACH compliant and it complies with strict limits.


By summer 2019, we will have achieved our self-imposed goal of completely eliminating PVC by 2020 - one year ahead of schedule! This has been a real challenge: We had to find alternative materials that were more environmentally friendly, test them thoroughly for their quality, durability and processing properties, and usually accept even higher material prices. We are proud that we have finally made this step.

 
 

Percentage of PVC-free models in Packs ’n Bags (travel bags)

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GRI:   301-1
Materials used by weight or volume
GRI:   102-2
Activities, brands, products, and services
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Links
Information about PVC at www.enius.de
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Information from the Umweltbundesamt
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Contact
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