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Checkerspot links up with Gore to produce green outdoor apparel.

US-based Gore Innovation Center is teaming up with Checkerspot to develop high performance outdoor apparel. © Gore.

“We continuously strive to optimise the combination of performance and sustainability credentials within our fabrics products.”

Biotechnology company Checkerspot has teamed up with materials science company W. L. Gore & Associates to help Gore to produce a new generation of high-performance materials and outdoor products.

Startup Checkerspot specialises in using microalgae to produce performance material via synthetic biology.

Gore has been established since 1958 and produces high-performance apparel. It will be working with Checkerspot via its ‘Innovation Center’ – a co-innovation space and lab.

“The Gore Innovation Center is proud to contribute to Gore’s efforts to apply material science and engineering expertise to improve the environmental profile of outdoor apparel,” said Linda Elkins, leader of the Gore Innovation Center. “We are excited to forge a relationship with Checkerspot and look forward to exploring opportunities with other like-minded organisations in the future.”

This collaboration will also include expertise from Beyond Surface Technologies (BST), a Swiss company whose mission is to create textile finishes with the lowest environmental impact, causing no unnecessary harm without compromising on performance. BST is currently developing renewable plant-based finishes as alternatives to conventional perfluorinated compounds (PFC) and is a partner of Checkerspot.

Checkerspot specialises in using microalgae to produce performance material via synthetic biology. ©Checkerspot.

In 2017, Gore announced the ambitious goal of eliminating PFCs of environmental concern from the lifecycle of its consumer fabrics products. In early 2018, Gore reached its first key milestone on this roadmap by introducing the first GORE-TEX laminates with a new durable water repellency (DWR) treatment free of PFCs of environmental concern for general outdoor use.

In a statement, the company said: “Gore’s deep understanding of outdoor enthusiasts and industry needs drives development of materials with meaningful performance advantages, from hiking in downpours to protecting first responders.”

Checkerspot and Gore will explore innovative performance materials development. ©Checkerspot.

“We continuously strive to optimise the combination of performance and sustainability credentials within our fabrics products. Targeting specific use cases and applications, we design, prototype and test new materials with Gore’s state-of-the-art facilities while leveraging the expertise and capabilities of our fabrics organisation,” said Mike Magyar, technical scout, Gore Innovation Center.

He added: “Our material science expertise and decades of industry experience help pioneering startups like Checkerspot turn concepts into realities and achieve mutually beneficial goals.”

“By engaging directly with product developers and collaborating with socially responsible partners, we are able to design and bring to market superior products with better, more sustainable materials,” said Charles Dimmler, CEO of Checkerspot.


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