By keeping our products in use for longer, we can reduce their overall lifecycle impact. Therefore, as part of our sustainability strategy, we aim to further improve the outstanding protective performance features of GORE-TEX products and help people to expand their useful lifetime.
Durability and longevity are two key words that immediately come to mind when thinking about GORE-TEX products. And they stand for a simple truth: The longer in use, the better for the environment. This is true for all GORE-TEX products, ranging from GORE-TEX PRO, our new pinnacle product, to our high-visibility GORE-TEX fabrics that are uniquely engineered to maintain their reflective properties for the life of the gear.
Gore Fabrics takes a life cycle assessment approach to measure and understand the environmental impacts of all aspects of our products—from the production of raw materials by suppliers to manufacturing and transportation until its end-of-life. We even consider the impact of the washing and drying over the lifetime of the garment. With these findings, we can focus our sustainability efforts where it matters most.
The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of a GORE-TEX jacket shows the greatest environmental impact occurs during production and distribution of the jacket (which make up about 64% of carbon emissions). The washing, drying, and disposal phases of a jacket’s life have a smaller impact on the environment. Thanks to this study, we know that extending the longevity, or useful life, of a product is the single most influential factor to improve its environmental impact.
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a global standardized tool (ISO 14040-14044) to measure the environmental footprint of a finished product. LCA assesses the whole process with a “cradle to grave” approach— from the extraction of raw materials through materials processing, manufacture, distribution, use, repair and maintenance to disposal or recycling.