PROLONGING PRODUCT LIFE HELPS REDUCE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS

One of the simplest and best ways to reduce our environmental impact is to enable and encourage end-user to use them as long as possible. This means our products must be durable. And end-user need to care for them.

Life Cycle Costing (LCC)

LCC allows organizations to better understand the value of a range of items with different durability in meeting a clear end-user requirement. It is also a way to validate the phrase “buy cheap, buy twice”, which in the long run, when all costs are taken into account, is more expensive.

Gore Fabrics commissioned Intertek, an international assurance, inspection, product testing and certification company to develop a methodology for life cycle costing (LCC) for combat uniforms. The objective of this new methodology is to allow buyers in a tender to know which offer is the most economically advantageous tender. We know from extensive field testing the GORE® PYRAD® battle dress uniforms last significantly longer. The question buyer needs to answer is what is the best value for money hence the new methodology helps to answer the question.

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Gore Durability Testing

Understanding product performance in terms of "fitness for use" is key for Gore. Hence we do a wide range of testing to truly understand product performance so our products are "fit for use". Gore operates several technical development laboratories with testing equipment comparable to that of independent institutes. 

Biophysics lab, Environmental chamber

To simulate range of environmental conditions experienced by end users in GORE-TEX apparel in order to understand how materials, garments, and human subjects perform across range of relevant environments.

Specific capabilities:

  • Temperature Range: -50 – +50 °C (-58 – 122 °F)
  • Relative Humidity: 5 – 98%
  • Wind Speed: 0.4 – 10 m/s (1 – 22 mph)
  • Natural solar Radiation
  • Intensity: 0-1100 W/m2
  • Emission spectra: Match sun with UV filtered out for safety
  • Identify place (longitude, latitude) and time and system adjusts lighting automatically to replicate solar loading
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Gore Heat & Flame lab

For Heat & Flame protection, user level tests are not possible. System level are the best tests we have. The challenge is to find meaningful correlations between the material and composite level tests to maintain rapid innovation in Heat & Flame Protective Fabrics.

  • Must maintain stability, plus insulation, while being flame resistant:
  • Flame Resistance (self-extinguishing, no melt or drip).
  • Thermal Insulation (barrier to hear transfer).
  • Thermal Stability (no break open or shrinkage).

Tests performed in the Gore Heat & Flame lab 

  • Cone Calorimeter – ASTM E1354, ISO 5660)
  • Thermal Protection Performance (ISO 17492)
  • Stored Thermal Energy Tester (ASTM F2731)
  • Pyrolysis Combustion Flow Calorimeter (PCFC) / Micro Combustion Calorimeter (MCC) (ASTM D7309)
  • Ignition Tests: vertical flame (ASTM D6413), folded edge ignition (ASTM F1358), surface impingement (CAN/CGSB-4.2 No. 27.10-M91), and 45° flame test (ASTM D1230)
  • Horizontal flame test ISO 15025 ​
  • Oven test ISO 17493​
  • Convective heat test EN367 
  • - Radiant heat test ISO 6942
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Gore Rain Tower

The purpose is to simulate conditions of realistic rain in order to measure and understand comfort in the rain. Gore has the ability to simulate range of realistic rain fall rates and create wind-driven rain while matching natural rain drop size distribution and velocity.

Specific capabilities

  • Range of rain rates from a light drizzle (4 mm/hour) through violent rain (150 mm/hour)
  • Rain drop size distribution and velocity profile of typical rain
  • Rain temperature range from 5 to 25 °C
  • Wind/air temperature range from 5 to 25 °C
  • Wind speed range from 0.4 to 5 m/s
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Extensive Field Testing

According to the fitness-for-use principle at Gore: before products are approved for use, Gore fabrics are developed into products that must stand up to the challenges of rigorous field testing. The only time an environment is simulated is when it would pose too great a risk to test subjects.

We implement different types of tests:

  • Fundamental understanding
  • Field trial
  • validation for specific user
  • wear trial
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We are proud of the durability of our products. But we also believe that, together with our customers and end-users, a lot more can be done to prolong their useful lifetime – be it through proper care and repair, or through innovative options inventing other forms of further product use.

Ross MacLaine

Gore Fabrics Division Sustainability Leader

EXTENDING PRODUCT LIFE HELPS MINIMIZE WASTE

More than 100 billion tons of virgin materials are consumed annually by business. Only 8.65% of raw natural materials that entered the global economy were reused in 2019. The cycle of waste perpetuated by the fashion industry is impacting the world’s natural resources.

Textile waste is an unintended consequence of fashion, as more people buy more clothes and don’t keep them as long as they once did. We are addressing the problem of textile waste by manufacturing high-quality, durable products that last, as well as helping people properly care for their textiles with our Wash, Care & Repair program.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation launched the Make Fashion Circular Initiative in 2018 to develop solutions to the issues facing the fashion industry such as rampant waste; the GORE-TEX brand and a number of its brand partners joined immediately.

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WASH, CARE AND REPAIR HELP EXTEND PRODUCT LIFE

The best way to minimize the environmental footprint of our products is by enabling and encouraging people to use them for as long as possible. We are promoting wash and care instructions and services for our garments, repairing them when possible, and exploring new business models for a second life. As part of our sustainability efforts, we are working with our brand partners to educate end-users about the importance of proper garment cleaning and care. Our objective is to help end-user optimize the performance and prolong the longevity of GORE-TEX products, which will improve its sustainability. Investing in a long-lasting garment and maintaining it properly not only saves on the environmental footprint but also saves direct costs.

Care Instructions

Want more information on how to properly care for GORE-TEX and GORE® product?