Gore Incorporates Solution Dyed And Recycled Textiles Offerings In Functional Outerwear Portfolio
New Offerings that Reduce Environmental Impact of Consumer Garments are a Direct Result of Life Cycle Assessment
ELKTON, Md. (July 27, 2016 ) – As part of its ongoing efforts to reduce the environmental impact of its functional outerwear, W. L. Gore & Associates (Gore) announced today that solution dyed GORE-TEX jackets will be introduced in the fall/winter 2016 collection and recycled Nylon and Polyester fabrics will be available at retail in the Fall/Winter 2017 GORE-TEX Product portfolio. This information was published in Gore Fabric’s “Responsibility Update 2016” which provides an annual recap of the division’s environmental and social initiatives.
Recently, Berghaus and Gore explored solution dyeing for GORE-TEX 2L products and were able to achieve savings of 89% in water usage, usage of 63% fewer chemicals, and a 60% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to conventional textile dyeing processes. The use of recycled textiles also makes a positive impact by reducing the amount of non-renewable used to produce the jackets/fabric. These environmentally friendly offerings were identified as a direct result of Gore Fabrics’ ongoing Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies.
“The incorporation of recycled and solution dyed textiles has the potential to significantly lower the environmental impact of the textile materials used to make GORE-TEX garments,” said Bernhard Kiehl, Gore Fabrics Sustainability Leader. “Our LCA Studies indicate that a long and useful life is the single most effective factor for more sustainable outerwear. Solution dyeing directly addresses this key finding, as we anticipate that this process will produce better durability through much higher colourfastness. In addition, solution dyeing reduces a garment’s environmental impact with lower water usage, lower chemical usage and smaller carbon footprint.”
Instead of individual strands of unpigmented synthetic yarn being dyed in a traditional process which uses a large volume of water and chemicals, with solution dyeing the pigment is actually mixed into the plastic pellets which form the basis of the yarn-producing process. When the pellets are extruded into yarn, the output is already permanently, deeply colored and ready to be woven into fabrics. Within the last two years, Gore started a program to review the use of recycled textile for its consumer laminate business. Using recycled textiles improves the environmental impact.
“Throughout our value chain, we carefully source high quality material that will ensure the finished GORE-TEX products will meet our durable performance standards. We apply the same criteria when using recycled textiles,”said Kiehl.
LCA is the global standard for assessing the total environmental impact of a finished product and takes into account all aspects of a product’s ecological footprint including resource and energy consumption, emissions to air, water and land as well as health and ecosystems. Gore’s Fabrics Division published its first Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study in 2013, but has been relying on LCA since 1992 as its ecological accounting system and was one of the first in its industry to perform full LCA – from raw material extraction through materials processing, manufacture, distribution, use, repair and maintenance to disposal or recycling.
The “Responsibility Update 2016” is available on www.gore-tex.com/responsibility
About W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc.
Gore is a technology-driven company focused on discovery and product innovation. Well known for waterproof, breathable GORE-TEX fabric, the company’s portfolio includes everything from high-performance fabrics and implantable medical devices to industrial manufacturing components and aerospace electronics. Founded in 1958 and headquartered in Newark, Del., Gore posts annual sales of more than $3 billion and employs more than 10,000 associates with manufacturing facilities in the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan and China, and sales offices around the world. Gore is one of a select few companies to appear on all of the U.S. “100 Best Companies to Work For” lists, including all 19 of the Fortune lists and three earlier books by the same name. The company also appears regularly on similar lists around the world. Learn more at gore.com.