Four decades on from its first commercial order, W. L. Gore and Associates continues to spearhead leadership and innovation in the outdoor garments market
Seven years after discovering ePTFE in a laboratory in his parent’s basement, Bob Gore received the first commercial order for the product. Forty years on, Gore-Tex has become a household name through its use in hiking and outdoor equipment, clothing and footwear. The product went on to become a market leader to such an extent that in 1989, the company introduced the ‘guaranteed to keep you dry’ warranty.
The company introduced the Gore-Tex Paclite in the late 1990s, which opened the door to extremely lightweight and small, packable functional outerwear, as the weight per square metre of fabric was reduced from 160g to less than 100g. To cater for those who find themselves in the most rugged of environments Gore-Tex Pro was introduced in 2006, with the lightweight and soft Gore-Tex Active and Gore-Tex Active with Permanent Beading Surface – the company’s most breathable ever membranes – following in later years.
Christian Langer, global leader fabrics division, said: “As someone who was introduced to the outdoors and hiking as a toddler, it seems fitting that Bob Gore’s material has gone on to become a leader in this sector. Forty years on, whether it’s for running or cycling, skiing or hill walking, Gore is still proving that it’s the market-leader in all sectors of the outdoors activities market, continuing to build upon the groundwork laid by Bob Gore and his family.”