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Waterproof breathable fabrics: balancing performance and environmental sustainability
published in Issue 67, January 2020
Waterproof breathable fabrics have gained huge popularity in a number of applications-including outdoor apparel, workwear and sportswear products-due to the levels of protection and comfort they provide. Today, the variety of waterproof breathable fabrics available is extremely broad, and includes coated textiles and laminates in a variety of fibre compositions. Consumers of waterproof breathable apparel are prepared to pay a premium for the best performing products but the market is not without its challenges. Competition in the market is fierce and there are issues associated with environmental sustainability. In particular, many waterproof breathable fabrics incorporate membranes and/or durable water repellent (DWR) finishes which are associated with chemistries based on polyfluorinated and perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), and these are considered to be harmful to human health and the environment. As a result, there has been significant pressure on manufacturers to develop safer alternatives without compromising on performance. Several companies have risen to the challenge, and a number of these have opted to use bio-based materials or take inspiration from biomimicry in developing environmentally sustainable DWR finishes. Some progress has also been made in developing environmentally sustainable membranes, some of which are made from recycled waste materials. This report provides a wealth of information on recent developments in the market for waterproof breathable fabrics, and discusses the opportunities and challenges facing producers and users. Topics explored in the report include: the development of waterproof breathable constructions; markets for waterproof breathable fabrics and apparel; waterproofness and breathability in performance apparel; testing standards for waterproofness, water repellency and breathability; environmental sustainability; waterproof breathable garments; and applications of waterproof breathable fabrics. The report also provides an outlook for the future and discusses the latest innovations in DWR finishes, waterproof membranes and fabrics, with particular reference to developments from a number of industry leading companies including BenQ Materials, Bolger & O'Hearn, Directa Plus, Evolved by Nature, Green Theme Technologies, HeiQ, Huntsman Textile Effects, The North Face, Ventile, and W L Gore & Associates.
Four times a year, Performance Apparel Markets provides an overview of the sector for performance apparel and corporatewear. It provides market data and analysis of new and established markets for performance fibres, fabrics and clothing, and is essential reading for executives who are working in (or supplying) this fast growing sector. It is also an invaluable one-stop-shop where people who are not involved in the industry on a day-to-day basis can find an authoritative source of relevant information which helps them to quickly gain an understanding of the key issues facing the companies in this sector.
Reports in Performance Apparel Markets include:
reports on major developments in the global performance apparel market, focusing on new products and technologies, innovative fibres and key players;
detailed, independently-researched reports on one of the following topics: antimicrobial fibres and fabrics, anti-static technology, flame resistant fibres and fabrics, high strength fibres and fabrics, high visibility apparel, microencapsulation, moisture management fabrics, performance swimwear, seamless knitting and stitch-free seaming technologies, smart and interactive textiles, stain protective apparel, stretch fibres and fabrics, surfwear and surf-inspired clothing, temperature regulation, UV protective fibres and fabrics, and waterproof breathable fabrics;
company profiles, outlining the business, product, market and manufacturing strategies employed by key players in the performance apparel industry; and
business news and developments affecting global performance apparel markets, majoring on innovations, mergers and acquisitions, investments, joint ventures, and financial performances.
Performance apparel represents one of the fastest growing sectors of the international textile and clothing industry – and market growth is being fuelled by the emergence of new fibres, new fabrics and innovative process technologies. The market is also being boosted by changes in consumer lifestyles. People are living longer and spending more time on leisure activities. New high-tech fabrics are being developed for a wide range of active sports such as aerobics, athletics, ballooning, cycling, hiking, mountaineering, parachuting, sailing, skiing, snowboarding, swimming, and windsurfing.
Exciting innovations are emerging in smart textiles and nanotechnology – and the sector’s growth prospects are helped by the trend in increasing demand for performance features in mainstream fashion.
Performance Apparel Markets is available on subscription – either in printed format only, or in printed and electronic format. If you choose the printed only option, you will receive 4 printed publications a year. Each issue contains five reports (as above).
Electronic supplement If you choose the printed and electronic option, you will receive an extra service. You will still receive each issue in printed format, delivered to you by traditional post.
In addition, you will be able to download PDF files containing the same information – but the PDF files will be available immediately on publication, so you don’t have to wait for the printing and mailing. You also have all the benefits of electronic files: instant access even when you are away from the office; convenient storage in your PC or laptop; portability; electronic search facility; and copy/paste facility.
You will also receive "Performance Apparel Update" delivered to you by email, free of charge, every month. This free supplement contains an update of business news as well as the latest product developments and innovations.
A subscription to Performance Apparel Markets will support your decision making, and provide the information you need to expand into new markets.
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