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Jack Wolfskin: A Quest to Build True ‘Eco’ Jacket

jack wolfskin texapore ecosphere jacket
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Recycled fabrics, PFC-free treatments, and an innovative production process for its jacket membranes make this outerwear line unique.

jack wolfskin texapore ecosphere jacket

Last summer, GearJunkie’s editorial team awarded Jack Wolfskin “Best in Show” honors at the Outdoor Retailer trade show in Utah. The German company’s claim of creating “the industry’s first fully-recycled waterproof-breathable jacket” earned the merit. And its secret lies with the Texapore Ecosphere line.

Here we break down a few key facts from the awarded line. For spring 2018, it will include 11 new styles — all with reused, recycled, and repurposed components that make them among the most eco-friendly outerwear ever built.

‘Off-Cut’ Membrane

Waterproof-breathable membranes are the heart of modern outerwear, allowing vapor from body heat to escape but keeping rain and sleet from penetrating.

membrane in production facility
Jack Wolfskin employee with granulate chips created from off-cut membrane

So to keep waste down, Jack Wolfskin practices what it calls pre-consumer recycling with its membranes for the Texapore Ecosphere line.

Off-cut material from the membrane production (for jackets) that would generally be discarded is cut into fragments. Those scraps then become rice-size granulate (above), which are later processed into a new membrane ready for the company’s eco-outerwear line.

‘Eco’ Fabrics

For the lining and main face fabric on its jackets, the brand also harnesses up-cycled material made from PET plastic bottles.

The Escalente jacket for men, as one example, uses nearly 21 bottles that otherwise would have been bound for a landfill. And the resulting 100 percent recycled fabric is certified by the Global Recycling Standard.

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Another target for Jack Wolfskin is the elimination of perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), which are commonly used in outdoor gear. They help repel water in DWR (durable water repellency) treatments, but PFCs have been known to have negative environmental consequences. As a result, Jack Wolfskin as a company has committed to be entirely PFC-free by 2020.

Texapore Ecosphere jackets
Current (in line) Texapore Ecosphere jackets

Accordingly, the current Texapore Ecosphere line contains no perfluorinated chemicals, using alternative treatments for a DWR that manages moisture without environmental harm.

Reduced CO2

Emissions of CO2 from manufacturing are another major source of pollution. So Jack Wolfskin lessens its emissions in production by eliminating some shipping and transport of materials.

The pre-consumer recycling of its membranes (see above) provides a tangible example of how the brand eliminates entire transport lines because manufacturing processes combine in one place.

Performance Products

Eco-minded materials and manufacturing must also meet industry standards. With its Texapore Ecosphere line, Jack Wolfskin cites waterproof performance at a rating of 20,000 mm. (For context, the German Technical Inspection Association considers fabric waterproof if it has a hydrostatic head rating of 1,300 mm or higher.)

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Plus, the jacket fabrics are windproof but also breathable, with a lab measurement of 15,000 g/m2/24h. That rating measures the permeability of the membrane to keep wearers’ body temps manageable as they hike, climb, ski, or camp in the eco-oriented shell.

–This article is sponsored by Jack Wolfskin. See the company’s full line of Texapore Ecosphere products.

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