The Value of Repairing
Norwegian-based company Wenaas and GORE-TEX Professional developed a smart repair kit for GORE-TEX PYRAD® garments helping to expand the useful product lifetime.
The greatest environmental impact in a lifecycle of personal protective equipment occurs during production and distribution. Extending the longevity, or useful life, of a product is therefore the single most influential factor to improve its environmental impact. This is especially true if a product can be repaired and re-used again. Following this spirit, Wenaas, an international supplier of workwear solutions from Norway, together with GORE-TEX Professional, developed a smart repair kit for arc rated GORE-TEX PYRAD® personal protective equipment (PPE) to help their customers prolong the garments’ product life.
Electrical workers often need to move through difficult, thorny terrain to locate a fault on the power network and climb high poles. During these activities their PPE can get stuck behind something sharp or spines, which, despite the robustness of the material, could result in a puncture or small tear of the outer fabric. While the garment overall would still be fit for use, a tiny puncture could result in a potentially dangerous situation for the wearer in case of an electric arc. By applying the patch, propagation of the tear is avoided, and garment lifetime extended.
“Norwegian electrical utility workers came to us with a problem: some of their employees had small punctures in their Wenaas GORE-TEX PYRAD® garment from walking through dense forest before reaching their service location”, illustrates Kristin Lien, product developer at Wenaas. “Together with Gore we concluded that it makes financially and environmentally no sense to replace the entire garment. GORE-TEX PYRAD® garments are top of line. Our collective goal is to let customers keep their garments as long as possible before having to replace them. Therefore, we developed the repair kit – a win-win solution: cost-effective as well as a very sustainable solution.”
Repair Kit for the garment
The repair kit consists of four GORE-TEX PYRAD® fabric patches: two round patches (diameter 7,6 cm) and two square patches (10 x 5 cm). These allow for the repair of small and medium-sized punctures or tears of the fabric – for larger damages two or more patches can be combined. The kit comes in two color versions: fluorescent yellow and navy blue. No special skills are involved to repair the garment: the patches have glue on the backside – a short instruction video shows that all that’s needed is a hairdryer and / or an iron to permanently attach the patch. After repair the risk of harmful incidents is avoided by using a protection patch made of GORE-TEX PYRAD® arc-protective materials and can be washed as usual. And in the rare case the fabric is damaged in the exact same place again, a new patch can even be applied over the previous patch. “The feedback from our customers is very positive”, concludes Lien, “the repair kit absolutely solved their problem.”
Jonas Andersson, sales Associate at GORE-TEX Professional says: “Our sustainability approach is about providing exceptional long-lasting products while at the same time reducing the environmental footprint. The idea of the repair patch is to avoid further tear propagation which could result in losing the required protection. And through these patches, users can contribute to our effort and do something meaningful.”
For further product information about the repair kit, visit https://www.wenaas.com/en/products/rep-set-goretex-pyrad-flouresent-yellow-0-10930-19819-32
About arc rated GORE-TEX PYRAD® technology
Arc rated GORE-TEX PYRAD® garments are durably waterproof and reliably protect electrical workers against the thermal hazards of an electric arc. They stay lightweight and comfortable even when wet. Up to 45% lighter when wet or dry than other products of their protective class, arc rated GORE-TEX PYRAD® garments feel less bulky to wear leading to more wearer acceptance. The garments provide maximum comfort with the highest protection level, so electrical workers remain safe – no matter the challenge, and no matter the weather.
For more than 80 years, Wenaas has been making workwear and personal protective equipment for women and men in a variety of sectors, with the aim of making their working day securer and more comfortable. We know that our products can mean the difference between life and death, and we never compromise in our product development. We have made a film that highlights a broad range of protective equipment and work clothes in use in different sectors where the right clothing is essential for a good, safe working day. https://www.wenaas.com/en/
W. L. Gore & Associates is a global materials science company dedicated to transforming industries and improving lives. Since 1958, Gore has solved complex technical challenges in demanding environments — from outer space to the world’s highest peaks to the inner workings of the human body. With more than 12,000 Associates and a strong, team-oriented culture, Gore generates annual revenues of $4.5 billion. www.gore.com