Norrøna has decided to eliminate the use of antibacterial treatments in its products. The Norwegian sports apparel company has been using bacteriostatic treatment with silver nitrate on some garments to prevent bacterial growth and reduce the need for washing, thereby prolonging the life of the product. The move comes after Forbrukerinspektørene, a team of consumer investigators for the Norwegian NRK news agency focused attention on problems associated with antibacterial nanotechnology in various types of sportswear. Norrøna was one of those that were interviewed because they have used silver nitrate in their products.
According to Norrøna, it has not been proven that the antibacterial treatments adopted the company's garments are a health or environmental hazard, and it is both Bluesign and Oeko-Tex certified. However, based on feedback from customers and other stakeholders, the company has decided to stop this treatment in further production runs.
Silver nitrate has been used in 4 percent of Norrøna's activewear collection, representing 6 percent of its sales in 2014. Since 2008, the company has used the treatment in functional sportswear, underwear and two insulation jackets.