glove breathabiity test in a Gore lab

DEVELOPING INNOVATIONS FOR MORE SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS

We are working to apply our deep materials science expertise and passion for innovation to create solutions that help address global environmental challenges and reduce our impacts.

ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND INNOVATIONS IN FABRICS

To protect our environment, in particular the waterways and climate, we are working hard on a few innovations that will change the way fabrics are created.

By using recycled materials, we reduce the use of new raw materials as well as the energy and water used in extracting virgin resources. Recycling also helps to extend the useful life of our valuable resources. Solution dying technology offers a significant reduction in both carbon emissions and water usage.

Mitigating water impacts with solution dying

Textile dyeing is the second largest polluter of clean water globally, after agriculture. With solution dyed textiles, colorants are added in the polymer form before the yarn is extruded. The resulting yarn is permanently, deeply colored and ready to be woven into fabrics. No additional dyeing is required, reducing the need for chemicals and water. Solution dyed fabrics are also ten times more light-fast as jet-dyed fabrics.

According to the Higg Index, solution dyeing saves up to 90% in water use compared to conventional dyeing methods, reduces the amount of chemicals used by 60% and reduces carbon emissions by up to 58%, when made from polyester, and by up to 45%, when made from polyamide.

“This technology not only helps us to reduce our environmental footprint, it offers the benefit of superior color-fastness to light. Consumers will enjoy the brilliance of colors for a long time.”

Ross MacLaine
Ross MacLaine

Gore Fabrics Division Sustainability Leader

Increasing the use of recycled content

We have worked for more than a year with our supply chain to develop a completely new, recycled and solution-dyed yarn, resulting in the lowest denier recycled fiber we have ever produced. The recycled material helps divert plastic materials from landfill and keep them in use for longer.

To make 1000 meters of the new backer textile, about 4000 recycled plastic bottles are used that no longer end up in landfills or incineration. Our recycled nylon is made from post-industrial waste, which comes from excess materials or products such as fishing nets or carpet, and our recycled polyester is made from post-consumer PET bottles.

We aim at being Global Recycled Standard (GRS) certified to substantiate recycled content claims.

Minimizing ‘microfiber’ release to our waterways

The presence of fiber fragments in the environment is an emerging concern for the apparel industry. While there is little certainty regarding pathways or impacts of these particles in the environment, we are committed to minimizing our impact, and continuing to grow our understanding of this complex topic. In 2019, GORE-TEX fabrics underwent a thorough internal study on microplastics shedding in collaboration with Hohenstein, as independent external partner, utilizing a method developed at the University of Leeds. Testing indicates that the majority of GORE-TEX laminates exhibit low micro-fiber release.

“The Gore Fabric Division is an active member of The Microfiber Consortium (TMC), which has a mission to facilitate the development of practical solutions for the textile industry to minimize microfiber release to the environment from textile manufacturing and product life cycle.”

Ross MacLaine
Ross MacLaine

Gore Fabrics Division Sustainability Leader