Technical textiles company Cordura was recognized at the 2021 Professional Clothing Industry Association Worldwide (PCIAW) awards in London this month for its innovations in workwear. Each year the trade association honors industry-leading innovations in the global professional clothing industry.
Cordura, which is celebrating 10 years in the durable denim category, earned two awards—the first being the award for Best Design for Workwear/PPE in the Suppliers, Distributors and Manufacturers Category for its durable, “No Fade Black” denim featured in women’s workwear brand Dovetail’s Maven and Britt style pants. The product is a female-led collaboration between Cordura, Artistic Milliners, Lenzing and Dovetail.
In 2018, Artistic Milliners tapped Cordura and Lenzing’s Tencel and modal fiber technologies to produce its Supercharged Noir collection, a portfolio of sustainable black performance denim. Lenzing Modal Black, which is used in Supercharged Noir, is estimated to have a 50 percent to 60 percent lower environmental impact than conventional dyed fabric. The process also comes with 64 percent water savings, 90 percent less chemical usage and a 64 percent reduction in wastewater output.
Last year, the fabric was utilized by Dovetail after customers demanded more durable denim solutions.
“We build radical pieces out of need. Women tell us what they want, and we go from there,” said Sara DeLuca, Dovetail co-founder. “Our latest Maven and Britt style pants with ‘No Fade Black’ Cordura Denim came from a request from our most hardcore customers, who asked for the toughest possible pant. At the same time, we were getting requests for a nonfading black pant, from women who work in tough roles as roadies, theater techs, and film crew.”
Dovetail’s pants maintain their softness and color and are reportedly up to four times stronger than regular cotton denim. According to Cindy McNaull, business development director at Cordura, durability is at the foundation of sustainable denim.
“At Cordura, our belief is that sustainability begins with products that last,” she said. “Quite simply, the longer something lasts, the less need to throw it away and consume yet more resources. What an incredible experience it was for us to work with such talented brand partners, and to see this hard work be recognized with these awards is truly rewarding.”
Cordura also won the PCIAW award for Best Fabric and Fiber Innovation in the Suppliers, Distributors and Manufacturers Category for its Daletec Extreme X Powered by Cordura fiber technology—stretch Inherent Flame Retardant (IFR) fabric. IFR fabrics are made from polyester yarn, which allows for the fabric to melt at specific speeds rather than catch flame.
The tear-resistant stretch fabric offers 30 percent stretch functionality and remains durable under industrial laundry conditions. It reportedly lasts at least three times longer than standard modacrylic/cotton blend IFR fabrics.
“We believe Extreme X delivers performance that is vital in tomorrow’s flame-retardant protective fabrics,” said Erlend Hesjedal-Johannessen, Daletec FR Fabrics brand manager. “It is designed to stand up to the hazards workers face as well as resist tearing and abrasion. The longer a fabric lasts, the longer the wearer has protection in the work environment and the longer the garment can remain in use. Durable products are increasingly being recognized as a preferred solution for companies investing in protecting their people.”
Cordura is continuing to innovate solutions for workwear, and most recently ventured into hemp with a collection of hemp-blended denim fabrics developed in partnership with Artistic Milliners. The line features 11-ounce and 12-ounce fabrics, each made with 20 percent France-sourced hemp, which offers both durable and sustainable elements.