June of this year was a big date in our diary for two very important reasons. It was the month of the Professional Clothing Awards (PCA) 2017 - and by a very happy coincidence, also a milestone in our 50th Anniversary year-long celebrations. The half way point, in fact. So a good time to look back and reflect on what’s been happening during the last six months.
And what better setting to do that than the venue of the big PCA event itself? Yes, the glitzy Intercontinental London – at the O2. On a night where the audience was a Who’s Who of the biggest names in the professional clothing business.
This began with a keynote speech from Cindy McNaull, global CORDURA® brand and marketing director, in which she thanked the entire industry for the role it’s played in shaping our history. Having said that, she went on to itemise some of the many ways that CORDURA® in turn has helped shape the industry – and continues to do so. Especially over the last six months.
When 2017 began we embarked on a Global Road Show, and our goal was to debut 50 fabulous new things in our 50th year. You can read about most of those we’ve already introduced in other blogs on this site – but let’s just do a quick roll call.
To achieve all of the above we’ve worked closely with universities, designers, mill and media partners – and leading brands from around the world. The objective, always - to explore new ways of attaining best-in-class durability.
In January we launched the strongest Nylon 6,6 staple fiber that INVISTA has ever produced. Already widely adopted for the next generation of combat uniforms, this has also been eagerly taken up by Dickies for their new Pro workwear line.
February saw us scoop a record-breaking fifty ISPO Textrends Innovation awards. Including a Best Product award for a Super Soft Knit Fabric. (Yes, imagine that. Rough, tough CORDURA® showing its gentler side.)
Other highlights of the past half year included notable collaborations that produced some very significant outcomes. An award-winning new Flame Retardant fabric from Carrington. Next generation Performance Wool Yarns from Sudwolle Group. An exciting new Sustainable Performance Platform from DuPont Tate & Lyle’s Susterra® brand.
All proving that we really do believe in our rubric of ‘The Power of Innovation through Collaboration’.
In the time-honoured tradition of acceptance speeches, we’d love to give a mention to each and every one of you out there who’ve joined us on our journey so far this year. As we said earlier, we’ve done our best not only in the many blogs on this site but in videos where our friends have told their own CORDURA® brand stories. Which was the original idea when we first set up this site. So if you’ve not yet told yours, get in touch. You’ll find we’re all ears.
Although justifiably proud of our past, our eyes are firmly fixed on the next fifty years. Plans have long been in place, the launch of our ‘CORDURA. Live Durable’ campaign at OR 2017 being just the beginning . . . but a very exciting one!
And we know that the successes of the future will come from the next generation of designers – the young people still at college today, but already bursting with imagination and ideas for tomorrow.
That’s why in her speech, Cindy was delighted to announce that another ‘50 x 50’ milestone for us is sponsoring the 2018 Professional Clothing Awards ‘Vision’ Student Competition. Giving us a great opportunity to find our next CORDURA® Durable Design Award winner.
Which brings us neatly back round to PCA 2017 . . .
The climax of our birthday party saw Cindy slice into a cake of epic proportions, as toastmaster Reuben Lynch led the whole audience in a rousing rendition of ‘Happy Birthday!’
Then to put the icing on a fabulous evening, Cindy was officially announced as nominee for the ‘Woman of the Year’ Award. If this is how good it gets at just six months into our 50th Anniversary year, just think what the celebrations will be like as it comes to an exciting end.