Gore Fabrics constantly strives to act with the highest integrity and responsibility and has an ongoing commitment to meeting or exceeding all applicable health, safety and environmental regulations and voluntary standards that we have adopted.
Our environmental approach is based on sound science, Life Cycle Assessment and durability of our products.
Gore was one of the first companies in its industry to start out on the path to reducing its environmental footprint by applying a Life Cycle Assessment as an ecological evaluation tool. We strive to continually improve the environmental impact of our products, processes without compromising on their performance.
Gore Fabrics is committed to continuously improving the environmental impact of its products. To ensure this happens, we have been using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for more than 20 years.
Our LCA results have shown that the best way to minimize the environmental footprint of a functional outdoor jacket or a pair of hiking boots is to enhance their durability. This is why quality, durability and performance are the cornerstones of our products. LCA not only helps us to identify approaches that really matter when it comes to reducing our impact, but to provide our partners with an ecological balance sheet that informs their environmental strategies.
Key facts of Gore Fabrics LCA studies
Our LCA studies for a typical GORE TEX® jacket and for a pair of functional hiking boots have shown that the impact of longevity of our products is the single most influential factor in improving its environmental impact. In other words: the longer a product is worn, the smaller is its annual environmental impact.
When looking at the LCA results of a jacket we see that production and distribution account for around 65% of the CO2-emissions. Consumer care, with 35% of total CO2, has also a significant impact, while the impact of the jacket’s disposal is - with less than 1 % - negligible.
The LCA study on a pair of functional hiking boots confirmed these findings: production and distribution account for 77% CO2-emissions whereas the boot’s disposal only accounts for less than 2% CO2-emissions.
WHAT IS LCA?
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a global standardized tool (DIN EN ISO 14040) to measure the environmental footprint of a finished product. LCA assesses the whole process with a “cradle to grave” approach - from raw material extraction through materials processing, manufacture, distribution, use, repair and maintenance to disposal or recycling.
MORE INFORMATION ON GORE'S LCA STUDIES:
SCIENTIFIC SUPPORT FOR GORE FABRICS LCA STUDIES
An essential element of Gore´s product promise is to use chemicals responsibly and safely to protect workers in our supply chain, consumers and the environment.
To ensure the highest quality and safety of our products, we work with independent, credible third-party standards.
In 2010 all Gore Fabrics manufacturing sites have been certified to comply with bluesign® system, a highly demanding and comprehensive environmental and safety scheme for the textile industry. Since then, we have been working with our partners to promote and implement bluesign® system throughout the entire supply chain with the aim to provide “bluesign® approved Gore Fabrics” laminates to our brand partners. This means that throughout the supply chain we only use chemicals known to be safe and where their origin is traceable and trustworthy.
As a result, more than 50% of the Gore consumer laminate volume is already certified as “bluesign® approved Gore fabric”.
OEKO-TEX® Standard 100
To give our consumers confidence in the safety of GORE-TEX and WINDSTOPPER® products, Gore Fabrics has been working with the OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 since 1996. We have since adopted OEKO-TEX® 100 as a product safety standard, which requires all of our materials to be approved. In addition our finished Gore functional fabric laminates undergo tests for harmful substances to ensure that finished textile laminates are safe to be worn from a chemical point of view.
In January 2015 Gore Fabrics Division has been named “Company of the Month” by OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 in merit of our environmental program and our leadership in using and applying Life Cycle Assessment.
Gore is a founding member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC). One of the key activities of the SAC is to develop, promote and use the Higg Index. Looking at finished products the Higg Index provides a credible, standardized source of information on the environmental and social impact of a finished product which could lead to a product labeling or an end-consumer information on the internet.