Performance fabric specialist WL Gore & Associates is to take another step in its efforts to improve the environmental footprint of its fabric products next year with the launch of a new three-layer laminate for outdoor apparel.

Due to be unveiled at ISPO 2019 in Munich in February, the new Gore-Tex 3-Layer laminate features a recycled and solution-dyed polyester backer, and a durable water-repellent treatment (DWR) of the face fabric that is free of PFCs of Environmental Concern (PFCEC Free DWR).

The firm is working to eliminate PFCs of Environmental Concern from the entire life cycle of its consumer fabrics portfolio.

In addition, Gore has worked for more than a year with its supply chain to develop a completely new, recycled and solution-dyed yarn for the backer, resulting in the lowest denier it has ever produced. About 4,000 recycled plastic bottles are used to make 1,000 metres of the new backer textile.

“From a sustainability perspective, the new Gore-Tex 3-Layer is a key product,” says Bernhard Kiehl, Gore Fabrics sustainability leader. “This product innovation demonstrates our intent to offer fit-for-use products while continuously improving their environmental footprint through the application of state-of-the-art technologies and the use of safe and durable materials.”

While Ryder Pingry, product specialist at Gore Fabrics, adds the latest innovation is “durably waterproof, windproof and very breathable with a comfortable touch and feel. The new 3-Layer versatile hard shells provide an optimal combination of performance and improved environmental footprint.”

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The new PFCEC Free DWR has been tested by Gore with “excellent results” and has been on the market with Gore-Tex 2-Layer products since autumn/winter 2018. The selected PFCEC Free DWR is approved by Bluesign Systems and meets the criteria set forth in the Oeko-Tex Standard 100, the company says.

To evaluate and compare DWR chemistries, Gore utilises proprietary test methods. These tests are conducted in Gore’s labs and rain room, which simulate consumer usage conditions. In addition to Gore´s lab tests, extensive field trials in Scotland and the US with general outdoor users (hiking, outdoor walking, casual outdoor, outdoor working, and urban commuting) have demonstrated that more than 90% of the test users are satisfied with the performance of the new PFCEC free DWR featured in 3-Layer Gore-Tex garments.