This year the Project 20/20 Design Awards challenged students from across the country to create their visions of professional clothing for workers in 2020. The results were exciting, original and suitably futuristic

What style of professional clothing will the workers of tomorrow being wearing? That’s what the Project 20/20 Student Design Awards, part of the Professional Clothing Awards (PCA), set out to discover. The competition was aimed at fashion, textiles and design students studying at universities across the country, who were given a brief to create corporatewear, workwear and PPE for workers in 2020. This year’s competition provided students with an additional incentive to participate in the awards thanks to Invista’s sponsorship of the Cordura Durable Design Award – a new category that encouraged students to look at the integration of technical fabric functionality and commercial viability within design entries.

“The Cordura brand is focused on pushing the boundaries of durable fabric innovation. Today’s young designers are essential in bringing forward-thinking designs to life, and helping us construct the durable fabrics of tomorrow. We’re pleased to see all of the futuristic workwear garment innovations from this year’s competition and to have the chance to celebrate the textile industry’s up and coming design leaders.”

Cindy McNaull, global Cordura brand and marketing director

The overall winner of the Project 20/20 Young Design Award was James Parker, a third year student from University of Brighton, with his design for specialist, multifunctional garments for arborists and tree surgeons.

“My Project 20/20 experience has been a fantastic learning curve,” James commented. “I had such amazing support from the PCA staff and Cordura brand team. I had to overcome a lot of technical issues whilst pattern cutting the design, and I gained new understandings of working with tech fabrics.”

James used Cordura Combat Wool fabric – a rugged, sport-inspired, water-repellent, performance stretch fabric that combines the comfort and aesthetics of wool with the durability of nylon – in the jacket and trouser. The reinforcement and apron sections of the outfit featured Cordura Classic fabrics, which are air-jet textured for high abrasion resistance.

The winner of the new Cordura Durable Design Award was Bethany Martin, from the University of Northampton, for her range of clothing for professional landscape gardeners.

Created for people who work in conservation and similar areas, the outfit includes a jacket made from Cordura Naturalle, which provides a natural cotton-like look and feel with durable long-lasting performance and a water-repellent finish; and trousers featuring Cordura Nyco fabric, a cotton-rich fabric with enhanced resistance to abrasion.

“This project has stretched my technical skills and been thoroughly enjoyable and very rewarding,” said Bethany. “I definitely hope to experiment with designing outerwear and sportswear in my final year at university, with a view to creating garments that are stylish, practical and exciting for active and adventurous individuals.”