Cradle to Grave Life Cycle Assessment of Textiles : GORE-TEX Manufacturer to Boost Recycled Content of Textiles

GORE-Tex recycling textiles
© Patagonia

Stemming from its Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies and its aim to deliver the optimal combination of high technical performance and low environmental footprint, W.L. Gore & Associates’ Fabrics Division is to increase its offering of recycled face-fabric textiles in its GORE-TEX®.

The company, a division of US fluoropolymers derived product specialist, W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc. said that it will also will expand its use of textile solution dyeing. Together the initiatives are expected to help it to improve the environmental footprint of its products throughout their full life cycle with substantially reduced water use and CO emissions, and also decrease the amount of waste sent to landfill.

Gore said that it will increase its offering of recycled face-fabric textiles in its product portfolio. Though the use of mechanically or chemically recycled fabric has a relatively small positive impact on CO emissions, using recycled materials enables the Gore Fabrics Division to contribute to reducing the amount of plastic waste that ends up in landfills or in incineration.

The company’s recycled nylon is currently sourced from pre-consumer waste while its recycled polyester source is post consumer PET bottles.

“We are committed to increasing the use of recycled materials in our Gore laminate collection”, Kiebler said. “When customers need our help to assist in achieving their sustainability textiles goals, we will be able to deliver the appropriate product.”

For Fall/Winter 2017, Gore will launch a range of laminates paired with recycled nylons and polyesters in different GORE-TEX® product classes, working with brand partners that include Haglöfs, Norrøna and Patagonia.

The Gore Fabrics Division has been using LCA studies to inform its activities since 1992. LCA is the global standard for assessing the total environmental impact of a finished product from “Cradle to Grave”.

While carbon foot-printing only looks at one factor, LCA takes into account all aspects of a product’s environmental footprint. And, research shows that the longer a functional

outdoor jacket or shoes last, the smaller its annual environmental impact will be, a factor neglected when only comparing materials to materials and not the finished products.

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