W. L. Gore & Associates´ (Gore) Fabrics Division published its Responsibility Update 2018 this month. The update details how Gore Fabrics is using scientific research to drive environmentally improved material innovations that deliver uncompromised performance with a reduced environmental footprint. The Responsibility Update 2018 is available at www.gore-tex.com/responsibility
One of the key achievements in 2018 is the significant progress Gore Fabrics made towards the elimination of PFCs of Environmental Concern (PFC). In 2017 Gore Fabrics announced the ambitious goal of eliminating PFCfrom the entire lifecycle of consumer products by the end of 2023. In early 2018, the Fabrics Division reached its first key milestone in this roadmap by introducing the first GORE-TEX laminates with a newdurable water repellency (DWR) that is free of PFC.
Gore Fabrics also reports on its increased use of recycled and solution-dyed materials in GORE-TEX products and a new Life Cycle Costing methodology for its Technical Oriented Fabrics. In 2018, Gore Fabrics became a member of the initiative “Make Fashion Circular,” joining forces with several global brands in a commitment to develop new pathways for the textile industry informed by the principles of a circular economy, aiming to minimize waste and make optimal use of resources.
Extending the useful life of a product remains the most effective way to reduce its environmental footprint, as shown in Gore Fabrics´ Life Cycle Assessment studies. The durability of a functional product´s performance is a key enabler, along with proper care. In order to help consumersprolong the useful life of GORE-TEX gear, in 2018 Gore Fabrics launched a “Wash & Care” pilot project, and supported Patagonia’s ‘Worn Wear Tour’ to make GORE-TEX products last longer through technical repair.
Furthermore, the 2018 report contains an update about Gore’s Guidelines for Social Responsibility (GSR) program. Three years ago, Gore rolled out a multi-step, multi-year program to ensure alignment with its licensees on social responsibility goals. The aim is to join forces with Gore customers and suppliers to improve the lives of workers that make finished products from Gore Fabrics Division products.
“In 2018, we achieved ‘Code alignment’ with all our consumer-oriented fabrics licensees, meaning hundreds of Gore customers have either signed Gore’s Guidelines for Social Responsibilityor provided a Code of Conduct of their own that meets industry standards,” said Bernhard Kiehl, Gore Fabrics’ Sustainability Leader. “We have also made significant progress towards the same goal with our business partners making apparel to protect professionals, i.e., technical-oriented fabrics licensees.”
The Responsibility Update 2018 also highlights volunteering efforts Gore Associates have initiated with support of the company. This includes raising 10.000 Euros through the “Bike-To-Work” initiative and support of the Mountain Forest Project in the Bavarian Alps. Finally, the report features two athletes of the GORE-TEX team, Greg Hill and Stefan Glowacz, who went on different expeditions, but shared the same goal: reducing their environmental impact while exploring nature and climbing mountains.