Tuesday, March 17, 2009

CORDURA®- A NEW IDENTITY FOR INVISTA’S BRAND




“AS LONG AS THE WORLD IS FULL OF DURABLE PEOPLE, WE’LL KEEP MAKING DURABLE FABRICS.™”

Words, Judith Ecochard, Images Courtesy of Cordura®, JanSport®, and Granite Tactical Gear, Inc.

March 17th, 2009

This past Sunday found us on an eleven-hour ice climb/trek in the northern Catskill Mountains. Sure-the last three hours - our crampons and ice picks held up--- but our spaghetti legs were all wobbly.

Fortunately, we were wearing our 15 years’ young Quimbola Man snowboarding pants …made with swaths of seemingly bulletproof Cordura® fabric-cause we sure had a bunch of unintentional slides-reminiscent our other sporty winter wipeouts.

But how amazing is it that of all our cold climes’ attire---it’s the Cordura® blessed garb that endured and protected. Very Helpful.

We owe tons; actually really REALLY depend on our clothing for more than just match-y, match-y fashion statements. And so we were kind of deer in headlights impressed by our recent free wheeling conversation with the multi-talented Cindy McNaull, Global Brand Manager for Invista’s Cordura® brand. The 411 on what’s new with this most innovative confab of fabrics, all precocious spawn of the Mothership Cordura®---is astounding---whether for use in military wear, outdoor gear, luggage, backpacks, boots or performance apparel. (Though IMHO---Cordura® is destined for everyday clothes too-particular childrenswear).

THE BRAND BUZZ:

We started our chat with a history lesson. “Cordura® is a 32 years old brand…and for the last two years we’ve deeply dived back into the brand for the common theme- durability” Mc Naull explained. “People really wanted an emotional connection…and so we developed a personality for the brand with the tagline:

AS LONG AS THE WORLD IS FULL OF DURABLE PEOPLE, WE’LL KEEP MAKING DURABLE FABRICS.™

The new Cordura® website with its interactive “’Tell Us Your Story’ on durability, reliability, and versatility” feature---opens up the global communications’ message to the digitally inclined. “There are over 100 categories for Cordura® fabrics,” Mc Naull observed -and gazillions of products for outdoor, workwear, ‘on the go,’ and the military. So the site is a nifty venue for the mundane and extreme adventuresome individuals amongst us to express “…in their own mind what Cordura® is.”

WEBSITE INFO: CODURA

THE BASELAYERS BROADEN:

We ‘Love A Man In A Uniform’ as Gang of Four used to sing (yup, we are totally dating ourselves)…but it’s Cordura®’s latest advance for the military that we did not get visual eyeballs full of- at the Outdoor Retail Market this past January…








But we will now, especially since the fabric is being adopted for the consumer market.

The Backstory:
Recently, the company techno whizzes invented/manufactured NYCO knit fabric, a durable “No Melt/No Drip,” superior moisture management and breathable Base layer/T shirt textile…conjured up so as to deliver” next-to-skin performance properties when exposed to heat in flash fire situations such as Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs),” according to a press release.










Now, Cordura® has “taken that revolutionary concept into workwear” according to Mc Naull-by launching its own baselayer line for consumers with the same “heat response” and “moisture transfer” keep-us-cool and dry properties.

And if that wasn’t fab enough, Cordura®’s Defend Your Base™ micro website---a dedicated destination for the scoop on the company’s baselayer apparel/product

---and embedded with links to where regular folks can get the now available tees- a uniquely engineered nylon/cotton short sleeve and a fierce long sleeve shirt by Tru-Spec® coined the ‘Tactical Response Uniform Combat Shirt’

is amazing…like the edgiest video game online.

Actually, it scares us a little…with that realistic soundtrack and all.





THE CO-BRANDS WE WANT

Take any NYC subway and chances are many fellow straphangers are hauling their lives around in a JanSport® backpack. Even if their metropolitan lives render jaunts to hug trees totally unthinkable.

We’ve covered JanSport®’s stylish Heritage series, a retro hip, mod re-issue of the original JanSport® carriers---- at the people packed Outdoor Retailer Market. What makes these hot selling haulers urban tough is the 1000 denier Cordura® fabric material used in making this snazzy collection. To quote the main guru…

(Image J. Ecochard)






“The Heritage Series is truly taking us back to our roots – in look, feel and design,” said Skip Yowell, co-founder of JanSport. “We used CORDURA® fabrics back then, and our two brands have a long-standing relationship that has withstood the test of time – perhaps because both have similar principles of exceptional durability, quality and long lasting good looks.”

Also gathering a crowd of admirers at the January 2009 Outdoor Retailer Market was the most drool inducing cutting edge backpack we’ve ever seen---that naturally- we want for ourselves (see online).

And that would be Granite Tactical Gear’s (and Montgomery Marketing Inc.) bells and whistles loaded “Chief Patrol” backpacks destined for U.S. Special Operations Forces.

Needless to say, we feel that everyone involved in the exacting two-year process to design and make the “warfighter’s load carriage system”---is honored to do so. For Cordura®, it’s the company’s NIR Solution-Dyed Fabric ... specifically “the base fabric (500d, 330d and 100d) and webbing (1000d) consist(ing) of solution-dyed nylon (SDN) CORDURA® fabrics that provide soldiers maximum Near Infra-red (NIR) signature reduction concealment properties” that got the a-okay.











Cordura® is BFFing overseas companies too. One union is with Klopman International, a European manufacturer of fabrics where a recent mind melt resulted in Klopman’s Vantage Fabric, a lightweight twill constructed textile for workwear pants, jackets and coveralls.

With exceptional abrasion resistance and a comfortable feel- this multi-use combo of INVISTA™ T420 Nylon 6.6 fibre and combed cotton has been proven durable in the toughest military environments.

And withstood the rigors of laboratory testing in Europe where they take consumer safety a bit more seriously in a lot of instances. IMHO.

Meanwhile, across the other Pond in Korea, Lee Jo Textile, an authorized Cordura® mill recently gave birth to a hard-wearing, stain resistant and color fast “Colorlock” fabric collection-that is destined for luggage, backpack and accessories’ end-users.

And we are sure that like Mrs. Palin, comedian fodder-wise, Cordura® fabrics are the gifts that keep on giving in products TBA.

BACKPACKER’s Magazine GET OUT MORE TOUR

Though we were clueless about this “one-of-a-kind” mobile tour, apparently thousands of outdoor enthusiasts and wannabes turn out for the informational clinics and product demos held at specialty stores---that aim to “educate consumers about the skills and equipment they need to Get Out More.”

Cordura® loaded gear like the JanSport® Soloist Backpack-perfect for short trail hikes, or pounding the pavement- is currently a featured “tool” at these events-that look like a lot of fun too.
INFO: GET OUT MORE 2009









THE ECO STORY:

Invista™ is a ‘corporate responsible’ company that is one of the leading innovators and manufacturers of recycled and sustainable materials. In closing our chat with Cindy Mc Naull---we were real happy to hear that Cordura® is set to join the other brands (like CoolMax®) in launching fabrics embracing the green lifestyle.

YEAH!

SOMETHING NEW:

Cool new Codura® brand hangtags and sew-in labels.