Columbia's OutDry Extreme ECO Jacket Is Available Exclusively At REI For $199. (Photo: Business Wire)

Columbia Sportswear's highly-acclaimed OutDry Extreme ECO Jacket hits shelves starting today, available exclusively at REI. This revolutionary shell marks a milestone in sustainability as it is the first high-performance, environmentally-friendly, waterproof breathable jacket made without the use of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs).

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Macklemore partners with Columbia on the launch of the OutDry Extreme ECO Jacket to raise awareness  ...

Macklemore partners with Columbia on the launch of the OutDry Extreme ECO Jacket to raise awareness about environmentally responsible rainwear. (Photo: Business Wire)

Columbia is partnering with hip-hop artist and environmental advocate Macklemore to help raise awareness on the impact that PFCs can have on the environment. Macklemore, aka Ben Haggerty, finds inspiration and solace in the forests in the Pacific Northwest and other natural places around the world. Columbia is launching a new video featuring Macklemore and his thoughts on environmentally responsible rainwear, which can be seen online here.

The issue of PFCs in rainwear is complex and has a long history in the outerwear industry. Conventional rain jackets repel water by incorporating synthetic compounds known as PFCs. PFCs retain an incredibly strong molecular bond, which makes them great at repelling water but presents a potentially serious environmental issue since these compounds are persistent in nature environments and have been found to be bio-accumulative in animals and humans. With this new jacket, Columbia set its sights on delivering a new approach to rainwear that does not rely on the use of PFCs but still stands up to the toughest, wettest conditions in the outdoors.

The result of years of development at Columbia's campus in Portland, Oregon, the OutDry Extreme ECO Jacket is the ultimate sustainable waterproof breathable solution for extreme conditions. This environmentally-responsible shell builds upon Columbia's high-performance OutDry Extreme platform and elevates it further with a waterproof membrane made without PFCs and features a 100% recycled, dye-free fabric making it one of the greenest ways for outdoor enthusiasts to waterproof. (Note that no PFCs are intentionally used in the manufacturing process, but may contain trace amounts.) Each jacket is also made of 21 recycled plastic bottles and saves approximately 13 gallons of water by choosing to keep it dye-free. (To learn more, go here.)

"We set out to make the greenest, highest performance jacket in the world," said Woody Blackford, Columbia's VP of Innovation and Design. "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."