Keen Footwear was awarded the Good Housekeeping 2021 Sustainability Innovation Award.
The Good Housekeeping magazine awarded the brand the award for its Detox the Planet initiative, which keeps perfluorochemicals and polyfluoroalkyl compounds (PFAS) from its products.
Because they don’t break down, PFCs have been called “forever chemicals”. These toxic chemicals are used as water repellents for products and can easily get into areas where products have been manufactured from contaminated water or other waste. Even living organisms can be exposed to PFCs. PFCs have been shown to cause adverse effects on humans and animals. Human epidemiology studies show that PFCs may lead to cancer, lower infant birth weights, and decreased kidney function. Since 2014, Keen has committed to eliminating PFCs in its supply chain.
Keens’ Detox The Planet Initiative established a system for identification, removal, and replacement of its supply chain. This allowed for harmful chemicals to be eliminated and replaced by safer alternatives.
The brand also released Green Paper: The Road To PFC Footwear with all information on how to eliminate PFC use in products. Keen has made it possible to eliminate PFCs in all its footwear since 2018.
Erik Burbank, vice president of Keen Effect said that being recognized by Good Housekeeping for their efforts “underlines the importance of this topic.” “PFCs/PFAS can be so widespread that they bioaccumulate and don’t break down. This is why they’re known as forever chemicals. Keen is determined to remove these toxic chemicals from our products and to also help other brands. We have a proven way to replace these chemicals by safe, affordable and effective alternatives. We want to share our knowledge to help people and the environment.”