About this time last year I was at a Gore-Tex event in Kaprun where we could test all kinds of garment products, but we also talked to Gore-Tex about their use of materials. I wrote an article at that time about this event and how Gore-Tex struggled with the tension between functional weatherproof materials (often with PFCs) that are not always good for the environment, and more sustainable options that did not perform as well as their PFC-free alternatives. It was already clear then that they were taking eco friendly steps, not in the least under pressure from the Detox Outdoor campaign that Greenpeace launched in 2015.
Good news came from Colorado last week. During the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Denver, Gore Fabrics presented a new 3-layer product that had PFC-EC (Harmful PFCs) free DWR layer including a solution-dyed backer made from recycled polyester. It is not really revolutionary news, because there are already many such alternative fabrics on being used in products, but that Gore-Tex, as market leader in water-repellent materials, is also taking this step is, perhaps late, but very important.
All the more so because it fits into a bigger picture on eco friendliness for the brand in which Gore-Tex announced:
- At the end of 2020, Gore Fabrics will eliminate all contaminating PFCs from its laminate consumer shipments, which corresponds to around 85% of all products in the market. This includes both jackets and shoes, gloves and accessories.
- Between 2021 and 2023, Gore Fabrics will remove all contaminating PFCs from the other laminate consumer shipments, but Gore Fabrics will also continue to supply products that do meet the specific quality requirements.
So, pretty good news. Right?