No, your eyes are not deceiving you, Columbia's newly launched OutDry Extreme ECO waterproof jacket really is white. There's a reason for that though, as part of their drive to create the world's most sustainable waterproof, the brand has opted for a dye-free fabric. That, Columbia says, saves over 49 litres of water compared to a standard, died jacket.
“Manufacturing the jacket without relying on PFCs was a critical step, but we went even further by building it from recycled bottles, using recycled trims, and keeping more than 13 gallons of wastewater out of the process by going dye-free."
Thats just the start of it though. The jacket is made from recycled fabric, the equivalent of 21 plastic bottles, it has 100% recycled trims including labels, zipper pulls, thread and eyelets. And there are no controversial PFCs deliberately used in the jacket at all - though Columbia concedes there may be small traces.
It's one hell of statement. It's based on Columbia's existing OutDry Extreme technology, which dispenses with the conventional face fabric, instead using a rubbery-looking external membrane, which can't become saturated with water and so delivers consistent breathability.
The original fabric has a distinctive look, but the new OutDry Extreme ECO trumps it with that unique whiter than white look. How practical is it? Well, you'll certainly stand out in Dark Peak moorland peat, but we're not sure about visibility on snowier terrain.
In other news, Columbia is partnering with hip-hop artist Macklemore - we've never heard of him, but we're British and square - that's him down there. Scroll down further for the video.
Initially the jacket is being launched exclusively at REI in the States, but it'll find its way across the Atlantic in due course we're sure.