Gore Fabrics Intends to include New Consumer Product Offerings with non-PFC-based DWR in A/W 2018 Retail Collection

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-TEX® products 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 has made its name by creating innovative, technology-driven solutions, from medical devices that treat aneurysms to high-performance GORE‑TEX® fabrics. A privately held company with annual sales of more than $3 billion, Gore is committed to perpetuating its 50-plus year tradition of product innovation.

Gore focuses its efforts in four main areas: electronics, fabrics, industrial and medical products. The company’s electronic products division develops and manufactures high-performance copper and optical signal transmission products. Gore’s fabrics provide protection from the elements and enable wearers to remain comfortable across a broad range of activities and conditions. The products made by Gore’s industrial division meet diverse contamination control and processing challenges throughout industry. Implants from the medical division provide creative healing solutions to complex medical problems.

Today, Gore employs more than 10,000 employees, called associates, with manufacturing facilities in the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan and China, and sales offices around the world.