Black Diamond and EMPEL Technology have reinforced their partnership to improve sustainability in apparel solutions. For the upcoming F21-22 collection, Black Diamond is expanding its product range with new styles manufactured with the revolutionary green technology, taking a further step towards a more sustainable footprint.

November 2021, Innsbruck

Black Diamond is always looking for new ways to reduce its environmental impact in terms of sustainability. For this reason, for its next autumn/winter season the company is pushing on the styles constructed using fabrics powered by the sustainable GTT’s EMPEL Technology.

Fabric production is the second largest water polluter in the world, quietly polluting trillions of liters of water every year. Traditional wet fabric production methods include the use of water baths to impregnate fabrics with chemicals such as water-repellent substances and dyes.

The EMPEL Technology is a revolutionary water-repellent treatment which eliminates the use of water pollution from fabric finishing. The secret lies in the uniform polymers that individually wrap each fiber with a protective, molecular-bonded, water-repellent shield.

The EMPEL Dry Finish process is water-free and solvent-free.

More sustainable production and more advanced performance: Fabrics treated with EMPEL don’t wet out in heavy or prolonged rainstorms. They have undergone severe rain testing, demonstrating up to 10 times better water resistance compared to other solutions. The EMPEL Technology is uniformly bonded to each fiber at the molecular level to enhance the natural breathability of the fabric, which improves the overall breathability of the system.

In addition, the unique EMPEL polymer chains contain flexible properties that prevent treated fabrics from becoming stiff or loud. Wearing an EMPEL-treated garment is therefore a surprisingly soft and quiet experience.

EMPEL is safe, PFC-free and, according to independent certification by Oeko-Tex, either meets or exceeds global safety standards.

“Black Diamond partnered with GTT to launch the EMPEL treatment on our products. We saw this technology as the perfect convergence of incredible performance and meaningful sustainability”, says Brian Larkin, Materials Manager and Apparel Development in Black Diamond.

Kristina Ehrschwendtner, Apparel & Footwear Merchandiser in Black Diamond Europe, confirms “We believe it is our responsibility not only to deliver high-end gear, but to do so while minimizing our environmental footprint. With GTT we have an innovative partner that offers outstanding performance and at the same time uses clean production methods”.


Dawn Patrol Hybrid Shell

Our backcountry shell engineered to provide protection from the storm while remaining breathable on the uphill skin, the Dawn Patrol Hybrid Shell features a breathable softshell fabric in key placements for thermal regulation, while the chest, shoulders and hood remain impenetrable thanks to our propriety BD.dry™ waterproof/breathable solution. All fabric is treated with GTT’s Empel PFC-Free finish, an environmentally friendly DWR that’s superior in durability and performance. Add 4-way stretch for mobility and this shell keeps you hustling on the skin track while sending it on the way down. An innovative, center front dual zipper features a built-in mesh panel for venting on the climb, and the perforated panel on the collar allows you to breath freely while protecting your face from the brisk air. The Dawn Patrol Hybrid comes with two harness-compatible chest pockets that hold skins, an internal media pocket and a ski-helmet compatible hood. Velcro cuffs are combined with a lightweight wrist gaiter for ultimate protection.


Designed for winter skiing and riding missions that demand maximum weather protection and for those aerobic uphill climbs, the Cirque features a Empel DWR on the shell for best-in-class water repellency, while the Primaloft Gold Cross Core insulation in the wind-hood provides the right amount of warmth. The packable wind hood creates full protection for the ride down and a goatskin leather palm, with slip-stop palm patches, maximizes the grip needed for the way up.

HighLine Stretch Shell

Our premium alpine 3-layer shell, the HighLine Stretch Shell combines our BD.dry laminated waterproof/breathable solution and Green Theme Technology’s revolutionary Breathable Water Protection —an all-new environmentally friendly PFC-free DWR that is superior in performance and durability to any other DWR solution—with lightweight, packable stretch to create the ultimate high-output inclement weather shell.

Approach Down Hoody

A down layering piece for chilly fall belays, breezy ridgelines and serious expeditions alike, the Approach Down Hoody packs down to nothing and is ready in an instant for dependable alpine-worthy warmth. All fabric is treated with GTT’s Empel PFC-Free finish, an environmentally friendly DWR that’s superior in durability and performance. 800-fill, RDS-certified Allied HyperDRY™ goose down insulation.

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