Amsterdam, Netherlands – Gore Fabrics, the maker of GORE-TEX® and a market leader in weatherproofing, has announced a major transition in its product technology, with the introduction of a new membrane for its consumer outdoor clothing products that is completely PFC free. The announcement is a significant result for a long standing Greenpeace campaign which pressured outdoor clothing brands to remove harmful PFC chemicals used in waterproof clothing.
Greenpeace’s Detox My Fashion campaign, launched in 2011, challenged the textile industry to remove all hazardous chemicals from their supply chain, highlighting PFCs as one of the priority hazardous chemical groups to eliminate. In 2015, the Detox Outdoor campaign put the spotlight on the outdoor apparel sector, well known for using PFCs in making waterproof membranes and water-repellent coatings. Hundreds of thousands of outdoor enthusiasts from around the world joined the campaign to demand PFC-free gear.
In 2017 Gore Fabrics pledged to eliminate PFCs of Environmental Concern from its general outdoor weatherproofing laminates by the end of 2020 and from its specialized weatherproofing laminates by the end of 2023, exploring both fluorinated and non-fluorinated solutions. Today’s announcement means that the first products using the completely PFC-free membrane will be on the market in 2022.
Chiara Campione, Head of the Corporate and Consumer Unit at Greenpeace Italy, said:
“Greenpeace welcomes this announcement because the new technology Gore Fabrics (e-PE or expanded polyethylene) does not use fluorinated chemicals and therefore does not release hazardous PFCs at any stage of its lifecycle.” Although this comes later than the original timeline, Gore Fabrics has been updating Greenpeace on its progress over the years and demonstrated its consistent efforts to find a solution.
“This development, from a major supplier of membranes to the outdoor industry, is a big step towards the transformation of the outdoor market to using technologies free from hazardous PFCs. But there will always be irresponsible outdoor brands, as well as other sectors, that will continue to use PFCs, so now’s the time for all players to act responsibly and enforce a broad ban on the entire group of PFCs” added Campione.
Greenpeace supports a proposal from five EU member states (Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden) to regulate all PFCs (PFAS) as a group especially in consumer goods, while the US State of Maine has enacted a ban on all PFCs.
Greenpeace International Press Desk, +31 (0)20 718 2470 (available 24 hours), [email protected]
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