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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 intelligence, expert analysis and insight on the performance apparel industry.
Performance apparel represents one of the fastest growing markets in the global textile and clothing industry--and market growth is being fuelled by an emergence of new fibres, fabrics and innovative materials. The market's growth prospects are also being spurred by increasing demand for performance properties in mainstream fashion.
What's in Performance Apparel Markets?
Each issue provides an authoritative source of information on key industry topics, including: antimicrobial textiles; biomaterials; biomimicry; chemical protective clothing; circularity; compression and shapewear; cosmetotextiles; environmental sustainability; finishes; flame resistant clothing; footwear; graphene; insect repellent apparel; insulation materials; medical protective clothing; military clothing and equipment; moisture management; mono materials; outdoor apparel; personal protective equipment (PPE); smart textiles; sportswear; thermoregulation; waterproof breathable textiles; wearable technology; and workwear.
A single issue of Performance Apparel Markets includes:
an editorial think-piece on a topical issue from an industry expert a round-up of the latest product innovations a main feature on a new or established marketinsight and analysis of a key market leader or fast-growing start-up a round-up of the latest business developments
An annual subscription to Performance Apparel Markets is a cost-effective way to keep informed about trends and developments in the global performance apparel industry. Subscriptions are available in printed and/or digital formats. Printed and digital subscribers receive each issue in printed format in addition to a digital PDF file, which is available immediately on publication. Subscribers also receive a complementary digital subscription to Performance Apparel Update, delivered directly by email once a month. This free supplement contains essential information on business news and the latest product developments.
Like all Textiles Intelligence publications, Performance Apparel Markets is a reliable source of independently sourced business information, and it does not carry advertising.
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