Gore has itself a new client, and it’s big enough to alter the way both brands are perceived.
Starting in spring 2018, REI will turn to Gore for its private label line of technical outerwear, the brands have announced. Gore-Tex will replace eVent as the go-to fabric for REI’s waterproof/breathable apparel.
When it comes to “ingredient brands,” Gore is a household name. Using this technology “brings a level of instant credibility,” said Nasahn Sheppard, divisional VP of product design for REI Private Brands. “We all know many, many products are waterproof. But [Gore-Tex] brings a level of credibility for your average consumer, entry level to experienced.”
In spring 2018, REI will debut three jackets and a pair of pants that use Gore-Tex fabrics. In fall 2018, REI will add more offerings, including Gore-Tex gloves. All will come in both men's and women's styles.
Mike McGrath, North American sales leader for the fabrics division of W.L. Gore, said the brand is excited to launch a line with REI because the retailer is so in tune with what its customers want. They know about what their members want and need, and what problems they’re trying to solve—just like Gore does, he said.
“We hold that above everything else, that relationship we have with the consumer,” McGrath said. “They see us and they recognize us, but more than that, they trust us.”