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Waterproof breathable fabrics: balancing performance and environmental sustainability
published in Issue 204, July 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 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 by many experts 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.
Six times a year, Textile Outlook International provides up to 200 pages of expert comment and analysis. A subscription provides an overview of the global fibre, textile and apparel industries. It is essential reading for senior executives in the fibre, textile and apparel industries and for anyone who is not involved in the industry, but needs to quickly gain an understanding of the key issues.
Reports in Textile Outlook International include:
country profiles providing a comprehensive guide to the textile and clothing industries in a range of countries and regions. The reports include an economic and political profile together with a comprehensive overview of the main issues, plus an outlook for the future.
company profiles giving you the opportunity to learn from strategies employed by others. Companies profiled recently include retailers, manufacturers, innovators and sourcing companies involved in textiles and apparel as well as smaller companies which illustrate the opportunities for firms which are interested in selected sourcing locations.
trends in world textile and apparel trade and production taking into account current issues facing the industry such as global fibre prices; competition from China and other low cost countries; the elimination of quotas and imposition of selective new ones; relocation of production operations; the impact of economic factors affecting trade; international trade agreements; trade promotion agreements (TPAs); and much more.
trends in EU and US imports of textiles and clothing providing comprehensive statistical data and analysis of the top ten supplying countries to the EU and US markets. These reports are updated each year and contain value and volume data as well as average prices and analyses of trends for up to 15 product categories.
innovations, technological developments, business development opportunities, individual sector analysis and political implications which affect players in the global fibre, textile and apparel industries. Some of the topics which have been covered in recent reports include: new innovations in the textile and clothing industry, such as environmentally friendly textiles, plant based fibres, and developments in textile colorants; innovations in textile machinery; and overviews of the European swimwear, hosiery and lingerie markets.
So whether you are involved in fibres, textiles or clothing in manufacturing, spinning, weaving, knitting, sewing, import/export, retailing or if you are in education or consultancy or investment or finance, a subscription to Textile Outlook International will tell you what you need to know about the key trends in the industry.
Textile Outlook International 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 6 printed publications a year, containing a total of 30 reports plus editorials written by Robin Anson, our editorial director and in-house industry expert.
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 dont 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.
This is what our customers say:
"I have been subscribing to Textile Outlook International for over 15 years now and have found it to be a constant source of essential data and information to help track trends around the world and put together the projections which have aided our decisions on where and when to enter or focus more on particular markets. The country and company profiles are always well written and informative and the highlights make it easy to read and recap."