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Sustainability Aims From Pertex

Next year sees the launch of Rab’s ultralight Phantom Pull-On Jacket for mountain running, featuring Pertex Shield, an exceptionally light, waterproof fabric that is highly breathable. Using a 2.5-layer construction, it combines lightweight face fabrics with windproof and breathable membranes and a durable water repellent finish.  

Founded in 1979 by Hamish Hamilton, a true outdoor market innovator, the Pertex brand specialises in lightweight, technical fabrics and is a staple ingredient in the wardrobes of outdoor enthusiasts worldwide.

A British climber and mountaineer, Hamilton was already gaining attention for his soon-to-be-famous Vango Force 10 tent design. He became fascinated by how water droplets behaved on a tent’s fabric – how the moisture would travel along microscopic capillaries within the tent’s woven fabric. He believed it might be better if each droplet could spread itself out over a larger surface area in order to dry more quickly.

He explored the notion with Perseverance Mills Limited, which was already specialising in very lightweight, tightly woven synthetic fabrics. In 1980, the Pertex brand was registered using a combination of Hamilton’s fabric concept and the expertise of Perseverance Mills.

At this year’s Performance Days, it announced its sustainability aims and targets following the completion of the brand’s first Sustainability Report. As part of its commitment to responsible and sustainable practice, Pertex works with a number of independent certification bodies, including bluesign, OEKO-TEX and Global Recycled Standard.

The report emphasises a commitment ‘to continue to minimise its environmental impact through responsible product and business practice.’ Overall, Pertex, aimsto do the following:

  • Reduce demand for virgin raw materials by replacing with materials from recycled waste streams, wherever possible.
  • Reduce energy and water consumption.
  • Eliminate the use of potentially harmful chemicals. 

By 2022, Pertex plans to meet the following targets:

  • 80% of fabrics produced to contain a minimum of 50% recycled content. Between 2016 and 2019 the brand diverted 29m PET bottles and 400 tons of nylon waste from landfill. The Pertex Eco range of fabrics contains between 50%-100% recycled content with polyester fabrics derived from post-consumer and post-industrial nylon recycled content.
  • 100% of fabrics produced to use non-fluorinated DWR finishes.  Since 2010, Pertex has been developing high performing, non-fluorinated DWR finishing technology.
  • Introduction of solution dyed products. Conventional bath dying is one of the most polluting, energy- and water-intensive processes of fabric production. Solution dying uses up to 60% less water and reduces CO2 emissions by up to 50%.

Innovation continues to be the parallel driving force in the company’s evolution with its focus on pushing the boundaries of performance fabrics.  For example, the launch of superlight 10 denier Pertex Quantum made from 100% recycled nylon and YFuse fabrics made from 100% recycled polyester and 100% recycled nylon.

Tim Fish, Rab’s brand director, shared why Pertex is a key product development partner, “At Rab, we aim to work with partners who are as committed as we are to delivering quality products with positive sustainability credentials.  That’s why working with brands like Pertex, who actively work to minimise their environmental impact and who understand the importance in protecting the world we live in, is so important to us.”

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