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Gore Collaboration to Boost Outdoor Apparel’s Eco Profile

W. L. Gore & Associates is collaborating with Checkerspot to explore innovative materials development, with a goal of delivering high-performance textile coatings with improved environmental profiles.

The collaboration brings together Checkerspot’s expertise in bio-based polymers and biotechnology with Gore’s experience in high-performance apparel.

“The Gore Innovation Center is proud to contribute to Gore’s efforts to apply material science and engineering expertise to improve the environmental profile of outdoor apparel,” Linda Elkins, leader of the Gore Innovation Center, said.

This agreement will also include expertise from Beyond Surface Technologies (BST), a Swiss company that creates textile finishes with the lowest environmental impact. BST is currently developing renewable plant-based finishes as alternatives to conventional perfluorinated compounds (PFC) and is a partner of Checkerspot.

“By engaging directly with product developers and collaborating with socially responsible partners, we are able to design and bring to market superior products with better, more sustainable materials,” Charles Dimmler, CEO of Checkerspot, said. “Our goal is to commercialize best-in-class performance materials developed with sustainability as a key consideration and promote similar change across industries beyond apparel.”

In 2017, Gore announced the ambitious goal of eliminating PFCs of environmental concern from the lifecycle of its consumer fabrics products. In early 2018, Gore reached its first key milestone in this regard by introducing the first Gore-Tex laminates with a new durable water repellency (DWR) treatment free of PFCs of environmental concern for general outdoor use.

“We continuously strive to optimize the combination of performance and sustainability credentials within our fabrics products,” Mike Magyar, technical scout at the Gore Innovation Center, said. “Our material science expertise and decades of industry experience help pioneering startups like Checkerspot turn concepts into realities and achieve mutually beneficial goals.”

The Gore Innovation Center is an 11,000-square-foot co-innovation space and lab where startups, researchers, corporations and customers can collaborate with Gore innovators on difficult advanced materials challenges. W. L. Gore & Associates is a global materials science company with annual revenue of $3.7 billion.