Temporary injunction stops Gore-tex eco claim
The civil chamber 12 of the Hamburg district court sustained an injunction suit of Sympatex Technologies GmbH against W. L. Gore & Associates GmbH as from 12 April 2017. Thus, Gore must no longer claim that the ecologically disputed PTFE – core of Gore’s basic product – would be environmentally friendly to the extend it is produced without any PFCs of environmental concern – a change recently announced by Gore for the years to come for at least outdoor clothing. The incorrect statement of the company that this allegedly was scientific consensus is also part of the sustained injunction suit
“We decided to take this step after several requests to correct this truth-perverting statement have been vain for weeks”, explains Dr. Rüdiger Fox, CEO of Sympatex Technologies, the measure of his company. “If we as a civil society allowed that the ecological collateral damage of industrial actions that is already obvious all over the world is belittled in such a way, we would soon be seen as the generation which has deliberately evaded its responsibility.”
The reasoning of Sympatex is based, amongst others, on the emission of greenhouse gases of PTFE membrane production which is 50 times* higher than Sympatex’ own technology and which consequently contributes to global warming – the biggest and at the same time most likely risk to humanity according to the assessment of the world economic forum**. In addition, there are no established industrial ways yet of reusing resources of functional textiles in a comprehensive value maintaining manner at the end of the life cycle through recycling – whereas the uncontrolled burning of PTFE, which is still one of the most frequently used methods of disposal in particular of collected old textiles in third countries, can notoriously lead to direct health risks, such as the so-called “Teflon flu”.
“Even if Gore manages to keep its promise made at ISPO to produce its membrane without any PFCs of environmental concern by 2020, a series of highly important ecological questions would still remain unanswered.” “In view of yearly approx. 1.4 million tons of old textiles in Germany alone we all still have many tasks to do in the textile industry until we have closed the loop so that the generations to come don’t have to pay for our failures. The attempt to mislead the end consumers with “alternative facts” in order to distract from the issue risks compromising the credibility of the entire sector.”
* Calculation based on SAC data per kg (SAC = sustainable apparel coalition)
** WEF The Global Risks Report 2016
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 worldwide with sales offices and branches