OEKO-TEX® Recognizes Gore as Leader in Sustainability
Elkton, Maryland, January 31, 2015 – OEKO-TEX® has selected W. L. Gore & Associates (Gore) as the January 2015 Company of the Month for its sustainability program in the Fabrics Division. OEKO-TEX® launched this campaign to recognize textile companies for their ongoing commitment to product safety and sustainable production processes. The International OEKO-TEX® Association is responsible for testing textiles for harmful substances listed in the OEKO-TEX® Standard 100.
Since 1996, Gore Fabrics has been working with the OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 certification to demonstrate that its products are safe for its customers. The current award recognizes Gore as one of the first to eliminate perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) from all raw materials for its fabrics products, which they completed in 2013. Dr. Jean-Pierre Haug, general secretary of OEKO-TEX®, explained the selection, saying, “In the areas of product safety and sustainable production conditions, Gore sets the standards for the textile industry….We have named Gore as the OEKO-TEX® January 2015 Company of the Month in recognition of its constant efforts to find new ways forward that ultimately provide a role model for the rest of the textile industry.”
Gore’s Technical Fabrics team has also been working to ensure the safety of fabrics used in gear worn by first responders. For example, in March 2010, the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and the chemical industry undertook an initiative to ban particular brominated flame retardants from the firefighting market. But prior to this initiative, Gore had removed any bromine and antimony-based retardants from its fabrics.
The OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 evaluates textiles for 18 types of forbidden flame retardants, including approximately nine types of brominated products. In 2011, Gore’s US-based fire and public safety team applied for and received OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 certification — making GORE® RT7100, CROSSTECH® 3-layer, and CROSSTECH® black moisture barriers the only moisture barriers in the North American fire market to be free of bromine and antimony-based flame retardants and have this certification today. This certification ensures that Gore’s moisture barriers do not contain or contribute any potentially harmful substances to the structural turnout gear in which they are incorporated.
According to Bernhard Kiehl, global sustainability leader for Gore Fabrics, “As a company whose core competence lies in the field of innovation, it is our commitment to continually drive ecological and social development efforts without compromising the functionality or durability of our products. We are extremely pleased that OEKO-TEX® has recognized our sustainability program as exemplary in the textile industry.” For more information about OEKO-TEX®, visit www.oeko-tex.com.
About W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc.
Gore is a technology-driven company focused on discovery and product innovation. Well-known for waterproof, breathable GORE-TEX fabric, the company’s portfolio includes everything from high-performance fabrics and implantable medical devices to industrial manufacturing components and aerospace electronics. Founded in 1958 and headquartered in Newark, Delaware, Gore employs more than 10,000 associates in 30 countries worldwide. Gore is one of a select few companies to appear on all of the U.S. “100 Best Companies to Work For” lists since the rankings debuted in 1984. The company also appears regularly on similar lists around the world. Learn more at www.gore.com.
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Marie Y. Smith