White is the new black: Gore announces brand extension

Find out what the launch of the white-tagged Gore Infinium line could mean for the next generation of outdoor gear.
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W. L. Gore brand extension

The ubiquitous black diamond Gore-Tex tag now has a sister. Today Gore announced the birth of the new Gore-Tex Infinium line, which is based around four key product launches, all aimed at areas outside of Gore’s traditional domain of durable waterproof/breathable fabrics.

Whereas Gore has historically been synonymous with “waterproofness,” this new brand extension is more about comfort. Last year, Gore opened a new Biophysics Lab and Environmental Chamber near its Elkton, Delaware headquarters.

W. L. Gore brand extension

What is your favorite waterproof/breathable fabric? Vote in our 5-second poll.

Christian Langer, global sales and marketing leader for Gore, says that the facility, which includes a 400-square-foot tunnel-shaped chamber and a 23-foot rain tower, can re-create 95 percent of the Earth’s environments, including humidity levels, precipitation, temperature, wind, and solar radiation from a variety of angles.

This state-of-the-art facility, complete with removable treadmills, staircases, ladders, and ramps, and staffed with a group of scientists, engineers, and technicians who study comfort, will allow Gore to research how the human body reacts to different climates and temperatures under vastly different activity situations, and how different fabric and apparel technologies can help to improve people’s comfort and overall experience outside.

W. L. Gore brand extension

It may look like a subway station, but it's an inside view of Gore's new 400-square-foot Environmental Chamber, which can replicate 95 percent of the Earth's environments. Exercise equipment—like treadmills, stair climbers, ladders, and ramps—are rolled in an out depending on the day's tests.

Here’s a sneak peek at the four new, white-tagged Infinium technologies:

  • Infinium Thermium Footwear uses a thin insulation that Gore claims is seven time more efficient than other insulations of the same thickness. Used in the toebox of outdoor footwear, for instance, Gore says footwear-makers will be able to construct streamlined, versatile products that have the warmth of much thicker, bulkier boots in cold environments but that won’t cause feet to overheat when they transition to indoor conditions. One early adopting brand is ECCO.
  • Infinium Stretch Gloves focus on dexterity and smartphone compatibility. With just a single seam on the finger area, a 3-D shape, and a stretchy fit, Gore aims to solve this problem in a windproof and breathable solution. With four different fabric combinations of softshell and/or fleece combined with an ePTFE layer, these gloves provide options for a variety of different outdoor activities along with more all-around, everyday style. One early adopting brand is The North Face.
  • Infinium Soft-Lined Shells use a lightweight ePTFE membrane on the outside of the jacket, as opposed to a traditional nylon or polyester textile, paired with a variety of soft, synthetic backers on the inside. The result, they say, will be unique aesthetic (almost leather-like, says a Gore spokesperson), and jackets that are water-resistant, windproof, and highly breathable in a wide range of conditions.
  • Infinium Insulated Garments will have a Gore-Tex membrane on the outside surface, which will protect the insulation from saturation. The technology can be used with either down or synthetic insulation, and will create outerwear that causes water to bead up on the exterior surface.

Early adopters for the apparel lines are Burton, Mammut, and Sitka.

Langer says that the Gore Infinium launch is a targeted introduction, and that they “are working with just a few select brands in the early stages so they can work collaboratively, refine the technology, and make it understandable to the end user.”

Find your way to the Gore popup showroom at the upcoming show.

You can learn lots more about what’s behind the new white Infinium tag, and what the products will actually look like, at Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show in January, where, in addition to a booth on the main floor, Gore will host a Popup showroom on the lower level. In depth tours will be available to wholesalers, retailers, and journalists.

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