Sustainability

GORE's sustainability approach

Bill & Vieve Gore

Sustainability is an integral part of our culture and business.

For us sustainability means being fair and responsible to people and the environment while offering products which provide best-in-class performance. We strive to continually improve the social and environmental impact of our products and processes without compromising their performance.

This is the legacy of our founders Bill and Vieve Gore and we are proud to continue this tradition.

Product Responsibility

GORE BIKE WEAR® and GORE RUNNING WEAR® are committed to producing apparel that delivers what we promise and is of highest quality. We want our customers to value and love our GORE BIKE WEAR® and GORE RUNNING WEAR® products, and enjoy their functionality for a long time, which is an effective way to reduce the environmental footprint of function apparel.

We carefully select the fabrics we use. The choice of fabrics, materials, methods of production, dyes and transport conditions are all taken into consideration prior to the manufacture of our products. To ensure optimal protection and performance our products are field or lab tested for their durability, appearance and quality after washes and impact (e.g. washing-, rubbing-, color fastness).

Product responsibility

All GORE RUNNING WEAR® and GORE BIKE WEAR® products meet the criteria of the Oeko-Tex® Standard 100. Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 is an external, independent certification system for for textile raw materials, intermediate and finished products and is the most used product safety label worldwide.

Product responsibility

Additionally, Gore has been working with the bluesign® standard since 2010 to verify the safety of its products. The emphasis we place on quality extends to our suppliers and manufacturers. Accordingly, Gore carries out continuous external quality controls at production facilities and encourages its suppliers to obtain a bluesign® certification in order to reduce environmental impacts in our supply chain.

An increasing number of GORE-TEX® and WINDSTOPPER® fabrics are already certified. In our GORE RUNNING WEAR® and GORE BIKE WEAR® collections we predominantly use certified fabrics.

Product responsibility

Social Responsibility

Social responsibility

At Gore we believe in conducting our business according to the highest ethical standards. We strive to provide our customers with high-value products that enhance the quality of life and to improve the communities in which we work and live. We expect our employees to work with our suppliers, customers and other stakeholders with integrity, fairness and respect.

Social responsibility

Accordingly, we also expect our garment manufacturing suppliers to operate according to the same principle. That is why in June 2012, GORE RUNNING WEAR® and GORE BIKE WEAR® joined the multi-stakeholder initiative Fair Labor Association (FLA) to promote and protect workers’ rights and improve working conditions in our contracted factories.

As a FLA member we are committed to ensuring that our garment manufacturers adhere to FLA’s Code of Conduct and independent auditors regularly verify their compliance. Additionally, the FLA conducts its own assessments to confirm the effectiveness of our auditing system.

Environmental Responsibility

GORE RUNNING WEAR® and GORE BIKE WEAR® products are environmentally sound choices. We are convinced that our sustainability approach will support our long-term business success and also push environmental progress.

We get closer to our target, which is making responsibility an essential part of our business processes. We are engaged in regular dialogue with our stakeholders, and we expect our business partners and suppliers to do business in a responsible way as well.

Environmental responsibility
Environmental responsibility

At Gore, respecting the environment is an inherent part of our corporate culture. We strive to act with integrity and responsibly. We will achieve or even exceed all applicable health, safety and environment regulations as well as additional introduced standards from our side. All of our manufacturing facilities for functional textiles globally have introduced an environmental management system according to ISO 14001 and implemented the bluesign®

standard, which demands challenging and comprehensive environmental and safety standards in the textile industry.

We feel obliged to continuously improve our environmental footprint by adopting an approach that rests on three pillars: sound science, life cycle assessment and the durability of our products.

Environmental responsibility

FAQ

We often get asked about our approach to sustainability. Below you will find a list of the most frequently asked questions along with their answers.

How do Gore Bike Wear® (GBW®) and Gore Running Wear® (GRW®) audit their factories?

We use professional and independent third-party auditors to conduct audits at all our garment manufacturers. The result is a detailed audit report describing factory compliance with the requirements of the Fair Labor Association’s (FLA) Code of Conduct and local law. If any non-compliances are identified we support the factory to create a remediation plan with detailed corrective actions, responsibilities and time lines. We also control and track the plan’s progress and completion.

Does Gore publish a social responsibility report?

Not as yet but as a FLA member our efforts are independently verified and thus the standards we comply with are publicly available.

Is W. L. Gore & Associates a responsible company?

Sustainability is an integral element of Gore’s culture and business. For us sustainability means acting responsibly – fulfill and even surpass all applicable environmental regulations as well as social, health and safety standards.

For more information:
Gore as a Responsible Enterprise

How much does Gore pay workers manufacturing its garments?

It is part of our Social Responsibility Program to ensure that at least legal minimum wages are paid. Our target, however, is to provide compensation that is sufficient to fulfill basic needs and discretionary income. Making highly functional apparel requires skilled workers and our manufacturing partners have to compete for and retain talent.

How do you ensure that the work of the manufacturers supplying you with garments is socially and environmentally acceptable?

We carefully select our garment manufacturing partners and focus on long-term and trustful partnerships. Furthermore, we perform regular audits at our garment manufacturers to verify compliance with local law and FLA Code of Conduct. As multiple auditing does not provide any benefit, we strive to collaborate with other brands to share audit reports and cooperate on the remediation plans.

Do GORE BIKE WEAR® and GORE RUNNING WEAR® products contain harmful substances?

No. Our products are safe to wear and an environmentally sound choice. All GBW® & GRW® products meet the criteria of the product safety standard Oeko-Tex® Standard 100. Furthermore, Gore Fabrics is a bluesign® partner, which verifies that the manufacturing processes are carefully managed and equipped with the best available environmental controls. Consequently, our customers can trust the quality and safety of our products.

What does Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 mean?

It is an independent third-party standard for textiles, intermediates and end products at all stages of production. The OEKO-TEX® system is well respected worldwide for its science-based approach to textile safety validation.

It limits for regulated substances, as well as unregulated substances known to be harmful to the health of the wearer.

How do we use the Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 for Gore Bike Wear® & Gore Running Wear® products?

Product safety is an integral part of the quality assurance system of Gore Bike Wear® and Gore Running Wear®.

We have implemented the international accepted Oeko-Tex® standard class II for many years avoiding any critical ingredients in textiles and accessories. Against this background we only accept suppliers and garment manufacturers with quality management ensuring conformity with the Oeko-Tex® standard. Selecting fabrics and materials we use as far as possible only certified products. For all other materials we require test reports proving at least the same safety level than the Oeko-Tex® standard. In this way we accomplish the transparency of all applied materials and their ingredients in our production chain of our products.

All used fabrics, materials and ingredients up to the sewing thread are carefully selected and not approved for production before all required and current certificates & test reports are available.This kind of verification is implemented for each collection in both summer and winter.

Additionally we check ready made garments on a random basis at our distribution warehouse identifying and preventing any unwanted divergences from our product safety standard.

Where are GORE BIKE WEAR® and GORE RUNNING WEAR® products manufactured?

We make products in factories in Italy, Latvia, Morocco, Romania, Turkey, China, Myanmar and Vietnam.

Who is the Fair Labor Association?

FLA is a collaborative effort of socially responsible companies, universities and civil society organizations to promote and protect workers’ rights and to improve working conditions globally through adherence to international standards. FLA is an international organization headquartered in Washington, DC, with offices in China, Switzerland and Turkey. FLA creates lasting solutions to abusive labor practices by offering tools and resources to companies, delivering training to factory workers and management, conducting due diligence through independent assessments, and advocating for greater accountability and transparency from companies, factories and others involved in global supply chains.

For more information please visit FLA’s website: www.fairlabor.org

What does the FLA Code of Conduct look like?

Please find the FLA Code of Conduct here: http://www.fairlabor.org/our-work/labor-standards

How do you select your factories?

We select our factories based on many criteria, for example quality, technologies, skills as well as environmental and social performance and price. We are seeking long term business partnerships and therefore it is important to us that our manufacturing partners are committed to providing safe workplaces and treating their employees in a fair manner.

In which initiatives does W. L. Gore & Associates participate?

GORE RUNNING WEAR® Collections

The GORE RUNNING WEAR® product families offer innovative,
running apparel that keep you comfortable in any weather.