Portland Textile Company Develops Waterproof Fabric That Doesn’t Pollute
Have you ever heard of Gore Tex? This fabric, with a name more aptly suited to your favorite dinosaur, was the first that let water vapor out and didn’t let physical water in. It’s an extremely thin layer of expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE), most commonly known as Teflon. In use by multiple brands, including North Face, Adidas, Mephisto, Quiksilver, and Gore Tex’s own brand of GORE Bike and Running wear, you may be wearing this without realizing it.
Green Theme International, a Portland, Oregon, based start-up claims that they, however, have the next best thing.
Apparently the fashion industry pollutes trillions of litres of water each year at an unsustainable rate, making it the second largest polluter in the world. The company’s goal is to eliminate water from the textile producing process. Using a process they call “Clean Chemistry”, they can permanently bond finishes to fibers while staying dry and releasing zero hazardous discharge.
Green Theme claims that their first process is a fluorine-free high definition finish treatment that outperforms previous water repellent fabrics. This process also provides a versatile platform for various other anti-odor, anti-bug, anti-microbial, and fire resistant finishes.
Traditionally, chemicals easily removed when washed are coated onto the fabric during production. Green Theme’s process uses a combination of heat and pressure to crosslink the finish with each individual fiber itself. The finish then becomes part of the actual fabric. This provides lasting durability that won’t wash out or wear off. The innovation uses no water, produces no hazardous discharge, no waste, no off-gassing, and is non-toxic.
This is useful for athleisure, where GTI provides odor-blocking, anti-microbial everyday workout wear; they provide the only membrane free outdoor wear that won’t stop working after a few rainy hikes; water and waste-free non-toxic fashion forward everyday clothing; and GTI produces fire resistant work safety gear.
This is “Performance for the Planet.”
Currently, the brand Marmot uses this fabric in their line of clothing, among multiple other brands of water, wind, cold, and heat resistant fabrics. They call this water resistant fabric, made from upcycled nylon, EVODry. Green Theme International is also in talks with several other brands and outdoor clothing lines.
“We’ll take care of the science, the rest is up to you.” You can learn more about the science behind the fabric here.