January 24, 2022 Gore Goes Recycled
Gore Fabrics Division announces Global Recycled Standard (GRS) Certification.
The Gore Fabrics Division (Gore) announces the achievement of a major milestone in its continuous efforts to reduce the environmental footprint whilst providing high performance products. Gore reached full Global Recycled Standard (GRS) certification of its manufacturing sites in Shenzhen (China) and Putzbrunn (Germany). GRS is an international, voluntary, full product standard that sets requirements for third-party certification of recycled content, social and environmental practices, chemical restrictions, and chain of custody (CoC). CoC requires each stage of production to be certified, beginning at the recycling stage, and ending at the last seller in the final business-to-business transaction. Material collection and material concentration sites are subject to self-declaration, document collection, and on-site visits.
How the Global Recycled Standard works
Originally the GRS was developed by Control Union Certifications in 2008 and ownership was passed to Textile Exchange in 2011. The GRS is intended for use with any product that contains at least 20% GRS certified recycled material; final products carrying the GRS logo must contain at least 50% GRS certified recycled material. The main goal of the GRS is to increase use of recycled materials in products and reduce or eliminate the harm to people and the environment caused by its production.
“Transparency guides the way the Gore Fabric Division is operating and building trust with buyers, customer, end-users, and partners. Therefore, we decided to become certified according to the Global Recycled Standard to ensure traceability of recycled content used in our products”, says Thomas Kiebler, Global Application Engineer Leader, W. L. Gore & Associates.
“This success was only possible because of huge efforts undertaken by our manufacturing sites and beyond. We conducted pre-audits and implemented the environmental, social and chemical requirements of the standard which have not been covered yet by our existing certifications e.g., Bluesign®, ISO 14001.”
Gore adapted its production and warehouse set-up which allows to separate GRS from non-GRS certified goods as required by the standard. Besides this – as Gore is also using external warehouses for shipping laminates to its licensed partners and buyers – the company worked with its warehouse partners to integrate them into the GRS system.
“After having successfully obtained the GRS certification, we are now embedding the processes and requirements into our existing management system to ensure we maintain the certification and will continuously improve our performance”, says Kiebler.
Scaling up production of GRS-certified laminates
Mid of 2022, Gore plans to introduce GRS certified laminates to its customers on the consumer business side but also in the GORE-TEX Professional workwear business. This will require adaptations of the IT systems to allow Gore issuing product-related certifications, so called “transaction certificates,” to customers and buyers.
“We will introduce a more holistic portfolio management for our GRS certified laminates so that we can continuously expand our offering to customers and buyers. We will initially start with a small number of laminates of our Gore Fabrics portfolio, but we will work with our suppliers and manufacturing sites to certify all laminates with recycled textiles according to GRS in the future”, states Kiebler.
W.L. Gore & Associates is a global materials science company dedicated to transforming industries and improving lives. Since 1958, Gore has solved complex technical challenges in demanding environments — from outer space to the world’s highest peaks to the inner workings of the human body. With more than 11,000 Associates and a strong, team-oriented culture, Gore generates annual revenues of $3.8 billion.
About Textile Exchange
Founded as Organic Exchange in 2002, Textile Exchange is a global non-profit organization that that works closely with all sectors of the textile supply chain. With a membership representing leading brands, retailers, and suppliers, Textile Exchange identifies and shares best practices regarding farming, materials, processing, traceability, and product end-of-life to create positive impacts on water, soil, air, animals, and people created by the textile industry. Furthermore, Textile Exchange develops, manages, and promotes a suite of leading industry standards as well as collects and publishes industry data and insights that enable brands and retailers to measure, manage, and track their use of preferred fiber and materials.
Photo: Thomas Kiebler, Global Application Engineer Leader, W. L. Gore & Associates