1969 was a revolutionary, iconic year for so many reasons. The Summer of Love saw the moon landing, Woodstock, and the release of The Beatles' Abbey Road album. But behind closed doors, the outdoor industry was undergoing a quiet revolution of its own.
Bob Gore was experimenting with the PTFE, or Teflon, trying to untap its potential. He found that by expanding it, the membrane created was incredibly strong and porous. And with that, the fabric the world knows today as GORE-TEX® was born! Since then, they have worked hard to continuously improve and refine the performance of their fabrics while simultaneously working to reduce their impact on the environment.
Guaranteed To Keep You Dry
Between creating and releasing new fabrics, Gore developed solvent-free adhesives and encouraged their consumers to keep their products for longer with the introduction of the Guaranteed To Keep You Dry warranty. This warranty promises that GORE-TEX® will repair, replace or refund your original purchase in the event that you are not completely satisfied with its waterproof, windproof and breathable performance within the useful life of the product and with reasonable care and maintenance carried out.
Oeko-Tex Standard 100
In the 1990’s they started their relationship with the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification system to ensure they were using as many safe materials and products as possible, not just from a legal point of view but from an environmental perspective too.
By 2017, almost 90% of GORE-TEX® products were certified Standard 100 and their intention is to raise that to 100% by 2020.
When the bluesign system arose, GORE-TEX® took this idea further, to strive to be more sustainable for the environment but also with regards to ensuring safety for workers and consumers as a whole.
As of 2017, 70% of GORE-TEX®’s product volume was bluesign approved, and their aim is for that to rise to at least 85% by 2020.
Life Cycle Assessment
GORE-TEX® adopted a 'Life Cycle Assessment' in 1992 that it has since developed and continues to do so. It is now a global standard that is used to assess the total impact of a final product on the environment. This sets GORE-TEX® apart from many other companies because it demonstrates a belief in making products that will last a long time before needing to be replaced in order to have less impact on the environment.
As a result, GORE-TEX® have introduced solution-dyed laminates and recycled textiles to create their products in order to help keep plastic out of landfills. These methods also help significantly reduce water usage as well as CO² emissions during production.
PFCs of Environmental Concern
In their processes, Gore have identified a group of PFCs (per and poly-fluorinated chemicals) that invoke environmental concern and, following fruitful discussions with Greenpeace, are working on an aggressive innovation program to help eliminate them from both Durable Water Repellent (DWR) treatments and membrane manufacturing methods.
Their aim is to have eliminated PFCs of Environmental concern for their entire collection of consumer fabrics by 2023 without forfeiting the performance or quality of products.