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Additional quotes to accompany press release:

REI members nationwide rally at REI stores this week, following company inaction


September 20, 2022

New York State Senator Brad Hoylman (D-NY): “PFAS are a cancer-causing class of chemical that does not belong anywhere near our children and families. PFAS chemicals have been widely used in garments since the 1940s because of their liquid-wicking applications — but convenience should never overshadow safety. I’m thrilled that the State Senate and Assembly passed my bill, S.6291, which would ban the use of PFAS in apparel. With this legislation, New York has an opportunity to be the leading actor in protecting our environment and our loved ones from this dangerous and forever chemical class. And major retailers like REI must act now to reduce and eliminate these chemicals in the products they sell.” 

New York State Assemblymember Emily Gallagher (D-NY): “It’s unacceptable for any company to sell products that contain toxic and polluting chemicals, especially one that prides itself on sustainability. For the sake of our drinking water, our bodies and our planet, REI must lead the industry in aggressively phasing-out harmful PFAS chemicals out of their apparel.”

New York State Assemblymember Deborah Glick (D-NY): “PFAS may be a convenient additive for large corporations to add to their consumer products, but it is not worth the terrible damage it causes to human life and the environment. New York has already taken action by banning PFAS in food service products and firefighting foam, but every unnecessary usage of these dangerous toxic chemicals must be ended. If businesses are unwilling to do the right thing and remove PFAS from their products, we must pass legislation to compel them to do so. REI has always been a preeminent outfitter and they can and should set a standard for others to follow.”

Meg Bohne, associate director of campaigns, Consumer Reports: “We know unequivocally that PFAS chemicals are contaminating communities and waterways, and putting our health at risk. With its stated commitment to sustainability and environmental protection, we join the thousands of consumers calling on REI to do the right thing and commit to phasing out the use of dangerous PFAS in its products.”

Pulin Modi, director of campaigns, ParentsTogether: “Thousands of ParentsTogether members have signed the petition to remove PFAS chemicals from REI because we must do better on behalf of our kids and future generations. Why increase the risk of harmful health impacts, including cancer, hormone disruption, and immune system problems? As an REI member and dad to two young kids who look forward to spending lots of time outdoors it’s important to know that we can trust retailers and manufacturers to listen to consumers on issues of health and sustainability.”

Emily Rogers, zero out toxics advocate, U.S. PIRG Education Fund: “PFAS do not belong anywhere near our bodies, let alone in the clothing and gear we wear and use everyday. Along with tens of thousands of concerned citizens, PIRG’s members, which includes a large base of student activists, have made their voices heard: REI should publicly set a clear timeline to phase out the use of PFAS in its stores to protect customers and the environment from harmful ‘forever chemicals.’ With this commitment, REI would uphold its goal to minimize the impact of its products on the natural environment.”

Beth Fiteni, director of Green Inside and Out and author of The Green Wardrobe Guide: “While researching my book on sustainable fashion, I was shocked to see how many chemicals are found in textiles, unbeknownst to the wearer. It’s not right that people are exposed to chemicals and are not even aware of it. Manufacturers need to do right by people’s health.”

Bobbi Wilding, executive director of Clean+Healthy: “Communities here in New York and across the nation are suffering from the toxic harms of PFAS. We call on REI to stop dragging its heels and stomp out PFAS from clothing and outerwear. PFAS contributes negatively to the toxic load our bodies can withstand and can result in serious illnesses and cancers. Halting its production is a must in preventing further human and environmental harms. We need New York’s Governor and other states to take action now!”



Stephanie Stohler

Communications Director

[email protected]