Technical textile supplier based in the USA, Gore Fabrics announces the launch of a thinner PFC-free membrane for apparel and footwear, which is made of expanded polyethylene (ePE) combined with polyurethane. The new material is thin and resistant and is intended for the padding of garments, shoes, and ski gloves.
Microporous polyethylene had been around for a while, but the problem was to "expand" it and make it more durable. The result is a waterproof, windproof, and breathable hi-tech membrane that does not contain fluorocarbons (Pfc free) and is more sustainable than those previously employed in expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE), the invention that made Gore-Tex famous in 1969.
The new membrane's sustainability is linked to the fact that it lasts longer, avoiding the need to buy garments back frequently; it is used in lower quantities than in the past; and it reduces carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere, as stated by the Higg material sustainability index of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition.
The enlarged polyethylene membrane is due to be launched in fall-winter 2022 collections of Gore-Tex goods as well as outdoor and lifestyle products from brands including Adidas, Arc'teryx, Salmon, Dakine, and Patagonia.
Gore claims to have combined the correct materials and procedures to transform ePE into a robust microporous material, based on decades of scientific understanding and polymer experience.
Matt Decker, global technical & innovation leader for consumer fabrics at Gore & Associates, said that the debut of the ePE membrane is a new demonstration of Gore's success on the 35-year sustainability path. The ePE is a logical extension of their history. It is related to their tradition, but it is also helping them to go boldly into the future of the Gore-tex brand.
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