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Gore becomes the Oeko-Tex Company of the Month for January 2015

At the core of the environmental approach adopted by Gore is its ecological evaluation tool, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).

26th January 2015

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Zurich

Sustainable, Sports/​Outdoor, Protective, Clothing/​Footwear

The US family business W. L. Gore & Associates has made a name for itself through its textile laminates based on the patented membrane technology GORE-TEX. © W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc.The US family business W. L. Gore & Associates, has become the Oeko-Tex Company of the Month for January 2015, affirming its leading position in the functional textile sector, established with its textile laminates based on the patented membrane technology GORE-TEX.

The Company of the Month campaign was launched by Oeko-Tex in 2011, in order to highlight all those companies of the textile chain that stand out on account of their above average commitment to human ecological product safety and sustainable production conditions.

As a company with a technologically-orientated tradition, Gore places premium value on research and product innovation. The company complies with all legal environmental regulations and health and safety provisions, in addition to self-imposed standards. All of its production sites have been certified in accordance with the specifications of the quality management system ISO 9001-9008.

GORE-TEX function textiles

In the area of product safety, Gore has implemented the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 for over 20 years now, receiving its first certifications in 1996. The requirements of the Okeo-Tex Standard 100 are met not only by its functional fabrics for occupational and recreational clothing, but also by its seam tapes and semi-finished products (its glove inserts, for instance).

The company has a wide range of products that includes the textile material GORE-TEX, such as cables for telecommunications, medical implants, filter tubes for power plants and highly-specialised products for use in industry and aeronautics and aerospace electronics.

The company has a wide range of products that includes the textile material GORE-TEX. © W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc.

GORE-TEX function textiles, suitable for cycling gear, ski pants, mountaineering boots and professional protective clothing, remain durably waterproof, wind proof and breathable, according to the company, which provides its Guaranteed to Keep You Dry guarantee for all GORETEX products in its recreation and fashion range.

Personal commitment

Based in Newark, DE, Gore employs over 10,000 staff worldwide and has an annual turnover of more than US 3 billion. The company is a global player with production operations in the USA, Germany, Great Britain, Japan and China. Gore is one of the few companies to have repeatedly been chosen as one of the 100 best employers in the USA since 1984.

Bernhard Kiehl, Head of the Sustainability Program in the Gore Fabrics Division, commented: “From the outset, the company founders Bill and Vieve Gore were of the belief that a person was at their most creative when working within a team of equals – within a network based around a level and closely linked grid structure. At its core is a network of manageable units with direct communication channels. The employees act based on their own personal understanding of commitment.”

Environmental management

An environmental management system has been introduced at all of its production sites and Gore has started the process of receiving certification for them in accordance with ISO 14001. At the core of the environmental approach adopted by Gore is its ecological evaluation tool, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). It is a standardised, scientifically approved method that fully assesses the environmental impact created by an end product, from the acquisition of the raw materials, through manufacturing and distribution, up to disposal.

Gore is one of the few companies to have repeatedly been chosen as one of the 100 best employers in the USA since 1984. © W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc.

Bernhard Kiehl has utmost confidence in this method: “The results of the LCA assessments really show that the most effective means of reducing the environmental impact of functional outdoor clothing is through increasing its functional durability, and thus increasing the product's lifecycle. That’s why durability is a real cornerstone of our environmental strategy.”

“Together with our high standards in operational environmental protection and occupational health and safety, the careful handling of resources and an employee-orientated corporate culture, this allows us to fulfil our corporate responsibilities in relation to society and the environment.”

www.oeko-tex.com

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