W. L. Gore & Associates (Gore), announced today its intent to complement its current consumer garments product portfolio by including products with non-PFC-based DWR (Durable Water Repellency) technologies. These new products are targeted for availability at retail in the A/W 2018 season. Gore´s decision to offer products with a non-PFC-based DWR for defined end-uses is the first outcome of its investment of more than 15 million USD into research for innovative materials through 2020, as announced last year. This investment is intended to identify and deliver new solutions that meet or even exceed enduser’s expectations through the best possible combination of high comfort, protection and durability with a reduced environmental footprint. Consistent with its Life Cycle Assessment findings published earlier this year, Gore continues to offer short- chain PFC-based DWR technologies for high demanding end-uses such as mountaineering, motor cycling or mountain rescue teams where performance and durable comfort and protection is essential. Gore plans to deploy a non-PFC-based DWR offering in its GORE-TEXproducts looking within 2L space initially. The new products will be designed for the general outdoor consumer and for end-uses where the high performance and durability of current short-chain PFC-based solutions are not fully exploited, e.g. day hiking or lift served skiing. First non-PFC-based products are planned to be available at retail for A/W 2018 season. “The integration of non-PFC-based DWR technology in our product portfolio is an important milestone of our 15 million USD investment announced last year. We will be able to offer more choice to consumers and continue our successful journey of delivering innovative, fit-for-use products while further reducing their environmental impact”, says John Cusick, Global Business Leader Consumer Garments. Bernhard Kiehl, Leader of the Gore Fabrics’ Sustainability Program added: “This offer addresses the potential environmental impacts of PFCs that are found in many of today’s DWR technologies. This follows our approach of applying those technologies that provide the best combination of performance and environmental impact for specific end-uses.” In order to demonstrate its commitment as a responsible manufacturer, Gore has already taken a leadership role within the outdoor industry regarding the sustainable management of PFCs by having implemented industry leading environmental control technologies years ago in all its manufacturing plants globally. Gore is working closely with independent third party organizations such as OEKO-TEX® and bluesign® to ensure that Gore Fabrics’ products are environmentally sound, socially responsible, and safe to wear. When talking about fluorinated materials, Gore emphasizes that PTFE, the fluoropolymer that is used for the GORE-TEX membrane is non-toxic, safe for the end-user, insoluble and doesn’t interact with organisms. It is stable and does not degrade to become a source of PFCs in water or the environment. It contributes positively to the ecological balance of performance wear, as it helps to extend the performance and life of the final product which directly saves on waste and raw materials. ”We will certainly continue to invest in fluoropolymer based technologies for end-uses where it is necessary to ensure high-level performance for consumers who need durable comfort and protection in high demanding end-uses such as mountaineering, trekking or free-riding“, Cusick explained. “We are fully convinced that these materials will continue to be a valuable source of meaningful and exciting product differentiation, and innovation in the future”, he added.
W. L. Gore & Associates is a global materials science company dedicated to transforming industries and improving lives. Since 1958, Gore has solved complex technical challenges in demanding environments — from outer space to the world’s highest peaks to the inner workings of the human body. With 9,500 Associates and a strong, team-oriented culture, Gore generates annual revenues of $3.5 billion. www.gore.com