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Industry Talk

Rab updates to Gore-Tex ePE membrane

Lower carbon impact offering comparable performance.

18th December 2023

Innovation in Textiles
 |  United Kingdom

Sports/​Outdoor, Sustainable

British outdoor brand Rab has updated its Autumn/Winter 2023 waterproof Gore-Tex glove collection, replacing the former membrane with Gore’s new ePE membrane, which is free of fluorocarbons of environmental concern (PFC-free).

The new membrane is used both in Rab’s existing Gore-Tex gloves as well as in its new Khroma Tour GTX gloves.

Khroma Tour GTX offer warmth and dexterity and are built with recycled PrimaLoft Gold insulation. Also featuring Gore-Tex Active, they’re windproof and breathable and their soft, grippy Pittards Armor-Tan leather is exceptionally durable, abrasion-resistant and externally seamed on the palm to provide dexterity where needed.

   Data shows that Gore-Tex ePE membranes have a lower carbon impact than their predecessors, while offering comparable performance. At the same time, the membrane is lighter and softer, enhancing overall comfort.

Fluorocarbons, often referred to as PFAS, are a category of synthetic chemicals that are used to make man-made products waterproof. The most frequently referred to are PFCs which have commonly been used in DWR finishes. When it comes to clothing, adding PFCs to a fabric means water beads on its surface and rolls off, rather than being absorbed. However, although these substances do not occur naturally in nature, they can now be detected everywhere on earth. This has a negative impact on the environment, especially since the substances do not degrade on their own. Research has shown that the substances accumulate not only in nature, but also in the human body.

Rab’s Material Facts tables, launched in Autumn/Winter 2023  for all Rab apparel and sleeping bags, transparently indicate where fluorocarbons are still in use. For Autumn/Winter 2024, these tables will also be available for equipment, packs and accessories, and will include detailed information on the percentage of renewable energy used in the production process.

Apart from incorporating the new Gore-Tex ePE membrane in its waterproof glove collection, Rab also utilises it in its Namche GTX Jacket. For Autumn/Winter 2024, the membrane will additionally be featured in Rab’s new Khroma Converge jackets and pants designed for skiing. 

To ensure optimal performance, waterproofing and resistance to dirt, Rab encourages consumers to regularly maintain and wash their waterproof items, particularly as these are updated to fluorocarbon-free membrane alternatives. The Rab Service Centre provides professional wash services as well as care and repair tutorials aimed at prolonging garment lifespan and maximizing performance longevity.

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