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With environmental sustainability no longer just a buzzword, the textile industry is challenged to find a balance between providing consumers with high-performance apparel and doing so in an environmentally friendly way. How is this achievable without making compromises? The answer: A new kind of membrane technology that offers waterproof, breathable, and eco-friendly qualities.

As consumers become increasingly aware of the environmental damage caused by harmful chemicals such as PFCs, the textile industry has turned to new membrane materials to deliver a more sustainable future. PFC-free materials such as PU are now commonly used for textile membranes. However, better environmental credentials often come with compromises in the performance of the textiles.

With this in mind, Xpore, a textile brand from BenQ Materials, developed an innovative membrane technology that is PFC-free in the materials used and solvent-free in its entire manufacturing process. At the same time, Xpore’s nanoporous membrane is waterproof and breathable, making it ideal for both outdoor and urban apparel. The advantage of eco-friendliness and high performance opens a new world of possibilities for the textile industry. 

Trade off

Many waterproof and highly breathable materials on the market today contain PFCs or PTFE, artificial chemicals that are harmful to the environment. In response, some manufacturers have opted for substitutes, such as PU, TPU, and TPEE. But these are limited in their breathability attributes. Additionally, these polymers, especially PU, require solvents to dissolve, and the process of using them results in air pollution. So while these materials are free of harmful chemicals, they produce air pollution — not an entirely sustainable solution.

Have it all

Xpore offers a comprehensive textile solution. The Xpore membrane is 100% free of harmful chemicals while the in-house manufacturing line is completely solvent-free. With its own lamination process and customizable glue, Xpore can be applied to all types of fabric and natural fibers, including polyester, nylon, wool, cotton, and silk. What’s more, as a nanoporous membrane, Xpore ensures excellent breathability and is waterproof and windproof.

Green, through and through

Xpore was conceived to be an environmentally sustainable solution from start to finish. At the manufacturing stage, Xpore saves a significant amount of water by using a rolling technique that avoids emitting air pollution, since the process is solvent-free. Moreover, Xpore materials are manufactured in a ‘green factory’ which is equipped with solar panels and other energy-saving systems. It is also noteworthy that Xpore uses a PFC-free durable water repellent (DWR), adding another checkbox to its comprehensive green solution. 

To top off its eco-friendly credentials, Xpore has also introduced the Recycle Series. Featuring waterproof-breathable products made from recycled fibers, the Recycle Series is the most sustainable choice to date for those with eco-conscious, active lifestyles. 

In the current waterproof textiles market, consumers are limited to high performance products that are not very eco-friendly, or sustainable products with low performance capability. To help apparel designers and manufacturers overcome this constraint, Xpore offers a new solution that is both waterproof and breathable, as well as eco-friendly without compromise.


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