Sympatex congratulates Gore-Tex on its No-PFC commitment
Sympatex, the ecological alternative with 30 years of experience in the field of sustainable functional textiles, officially offers its competitor its fullest support with this ambitious goal
As the ecological alternative amongst functional textile specialists, Sympatex welcomes today’s commitment by Gore-Tex to not use any hazardous perfluorinated and polyfluorinated chemicals (PFC) in its products any more. An ambitious goal to be implemented for outdoor clothing by 2020, since Gore-Tex hasn’t developed any final technical solutions to do so, as it admitted to the press today. Thus, the core of Gore-Tex clothing consists, amongst other things, of a PTFE membrane, which is produced using this controversial PFC.
“We congratulate our competitor on this step, that has been overdue from our point of view”, says Dr. Rüdiger Fox, CEO of Sympatex Technologies. “Even if it is a pity, when corporate responsibility is only assumed by the majority on markets, when the public exerts enormous pressure in cooperation with organisations like Greenpeace to enforce such changes.”
Since the foundation of Sympatex more than 30 years ago, the Sympatex membrane has always been PTFE-free and PFC-free. The market leader amongst the ecological brand membrane providers has already been offering fluorocarbon-free treatment for its outdoor and occupational safety laminates since 2008 – this is only one example of its pioneer projects in its continuous sustainable strategy.
“We assume that Gore-Tex surely doesn’t want to lose time any more to catch up with the market, where others have been proven for years now that this is possible from a technological point of view. However, the interest of individual companies must not be the main reason – it’s about a common responsibility of our entire industry. Therefore, we offer our competitor our fullest support – be it with regard to our wealth of experience in developing fluorocarbon-free treatment or by sharing our PFC-free Sympatex membrane as an interim solution. The latter would not only implement this step immediately, but also equip functional clothing with a meanwhile completely climate-neutral membrane,“ explains Dr. Rüdiger Fox.
Sympatex persistently works on the next necessary step for the time being: closing the textile loop. Sympatex invites all partners of the industry to its “Sympathy Lab” for a joint closed loop. “The World Economic Forum agrees: poison is going to be only one of the top three risks of humanity in the years to come”, says Dr. Fox. “Already today, textile-intense countries, such as Bangladesh, are facing an extreme drinking water problem – and cities are drowning in piles of garbage. Therefore, we will persistently expand our entire laminate portfolio towards recycled and recyclable resources by 2020. The reasons: recycled polymers consume 90% less water and 2/3 less energy than new polymers based on petroleum during the production process.”
Dr. Fox adds: “In the future, all eyes will be set on Gore, one of the former figureheads on our market. Not only the entire functional textile sector, but also stakeholders from other areas will assess whether today’s commitment only was a green coat or actually a serious obligation. Consumers expect transparency and don’t want to see the issue being postponed due to several reasons – like some years ago during the shift of long-chain fluorochemistry (C8) to yet less examined short-chain and volatile fluorocarbons (C6). The credibility of our entire sector is at stake.”
As one of the worldwide leading producers, Sympatex® Technologies has been a synonym for high-tech functional materials in clothing, footwear, accessories and technical fields of application since 1986. Together with selected partners, Sympatex develops, produces and distributes membranes, laminates and functional textiles as well as finished products worldwide. The Sympatex membrane is highly breathable, 100 % wind- and waterproof and regulates the climate. It is 100 % recyclable, bluesign® certified, and it received the ‘Oeko-Tex-Standard 100’ certificate. It is also PTFE-free and PFC-free. The technologies and procedures are based on the principles of ecological responsibility and sustainability with a special focus on the optimal carbon footprint. Sympatex is represented with sales offices and branches.