Announcing the PCIAW® Awards Winners 2023

On the 9th November 2023, the PCIAW® Awards ceremony celebrated the innovations of businesses and individuals across the uniform, workwear and PPE markets in Porto, Portugal, bringing the awards to the European mainland for the first time.

The PCIAW® Awards event brings together one of the largest networks of international executives and industry experts from across the professional clothing industry to recognise the innovators who push us forward to create a sustainable, safe and protected future.

This year’s event was sponsored by: Carrington Textiles, ANIVEC, Gresham Blake, Stuncroft, Bodi.Me, Milliken & Company, and Westex: A Milliken Brand.

“The PCIAW® is proud to advocate for the progressive innovation in professional clothing. The awards ceremony is an international platform to recognise the advancement of new ideas and solutions – and an excellent opportunity for our Trusted Members to network.”

John Miln, Chairman, PCIAW®

This year there were 16 awards on offer in many categories and areas of the industry, from inclusive uniform design to innovation in digital manufacturing and transformational technology.

  • Retail & Banking Uniform Award
  • Hospitality & Leisure Uniform Award
  • Police, Fire & Military Award
  • Aviation & Passenger Transport Uniform Award
  • Healthcare Design Award
  • Inclusive Design Award
  • PPE Innovation in Clothing Award
  • Innovative Global Manufacturer Award
  • Fabric & Fibre Award
  • Digitalised Manufacturer Award
  • Best Managed Major Uniform Contract Award
  • Transformational Technology Award
  • Best Consultancy & Service Award
  • Circular Product Award
  • Sustainable Business Award
  • Lifetime Achievement Award

“The PCIAW® Awards 2023 marked a new high for international competition and focus. With so many outstanding entries, the independent judging panel faced quite a challenge. Their excellent work culminated in a well-deserved group of winners. My sincere congratulations to all of this year’s honorees.”

Yvette Ashby, Founder & CEO, PCIAW®

The PCIAW® Awards kicked off with the beloved PCA VISION student design competition. Every year students are challenged to create practical and fashionable designs with a sustainability focus. From fabric selection to production methods and end-of-life planning, students have complete freedom to design a commercially viable outfit for the professional clothing industry. Their innovative designs set the tone for an evening celebrating creativity and conscience in the Uniform, Workwear and PPE industry.

Presented by Nisha Muire, Uniform Program Manager at Air Canada, and César Araújo, the President of ANIVEC; CEO of Calvelex and Board Director of PCIAW®, PCA VISION 2023 saw finalists showcasing their brilliant designs on the PCA VISION catwalk.

PCA VISION was sponsored by ANIVEC and Carrington Textiles.

Sophie Woodliffe; Manchester Metropolitan University

Designing Workwear for air traffic control (ATC) ground crew, Sophie has combined modern comfortable styles with all the practical elements needed to keep ATC crew safe. The garments are deconstructable for recyclability using sew-on reflective strips and recycled polymer. Elasticated drawstrings, zip guards, and Velcro are used at the openings to keep wearers safe and the garments clean.

Other PCA VISION finalists included:

Megan Dyson

Inspired by the swarms of yellow taxis and sharp edges of the New York City skyline, this corporatewear design represents a functional and sleek suit design. The suit will be cut from deadstock material to make the garment environmentally friendly, while the design includes all the pockets and vents necessary to make the garment practical.

Connor Read

Based on the needs of wildlife conservationists, this design utilises waterproof materials and design elements to ensure conservationists have both the movement necessary for taking observations while also utilising waterproof fabrics to keep scientists dry and comfortable. The jacket also includes a mosquito belay net, and the fabric would be made of recycled bottles reclaimed from the ocean.

Sarah Young

This corporatewear design is based on a system of modular elements which can be zipped and unzipped to add or remove length, while additional panels can be used to tighten the garment to fit the wearer’s shape. The design is gender-neutral due to its high customizability and form-fitting design, while it remains sustainable due to the compostable fabrics and novel combinations.

After PCA VISION came the Industry Awards, starting with the Professional Clothing Design Awards:

Professional Clothing Design – Presented by Karen Burrows, Chairman Madeira UK, and Natalie Wilson, Managing Director Shield 360

1) Retail & Banking Uniform – Gresham Blake

Awarded for the Sky Park deer farm retail uniform, Gresham Blake’s design embodies the client’s relationship with nature by using floral and deer motifs on the staff uniform.

Producing a whole range of garments for staff from waistcoats to tweed jackets, Gresham Blake has ensured staff represent the business beautifully in whichever role they hold.

2) Hospitality & Leisure Uniform – Incorporatewear

Receiving the award for Subway’s sandwich artist uniform, the team have incorporated the brand’s key colours of green and yellow to represent the fresh and healthy lifestyle at the core of the company’s ethos. Additionally, 100% of the polyester in the uniform is sourced from recycled material making it clean and green in every way.

3) Police, Fire & Military Design – PhantomLeaf Textiles

Utilising advanced disruptive techniques developed in collaboration with psychologists and textile engineers, PhantomLeaf offers the industry a truly revolutionary approach to operational concealment.

4) Aviation & Passenger Transport Uniform – Incorporatewear

Receiving the award for their Stagecoach Bus Driver & Inspector Uniform, InCorporatewear is supplying 19,000 bus drivers across the UK with new inclusive uniforms in style with their rebrand. In addition to a new style, the uniform’s Gilet is reversible with a Hi-Vis surface, allowing Bus Drivers to dynamically choose when to increase their visibility at work.

5) Healthcare Design – Fiber2Fashion Consulting

Awarded for the inspiring work you have done in the Dutch medical system, Fiber2Fashion have been part of the consortium which has developed reusable and recyclable protective gowns for frontline medical workers. These gowns conform to ISO Standards, and have anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties to limit the spread of infection on hospital wards.

6) Inclusive Design – Cooneen

Through extensive collaboration with diverse groups, Cooneen has developed uniforms to meet the needs of frontline emergency services in South Yorkshire. Their thoughtful designs accommodate maternity, menopause, cultural requirements, and gender-specific fits, ensuring every employee feels valued in comfortable, well-fitted garments.

7) PPE Innovation in Clothing – OPTITEX

Optitex’s end-to-end software enables protective clothing makers to digitally design, virtually test fits, and optimize manufacturing.

Their tools have developed high-performing, comfortable gear for military, law enforcement and hazard protection. With unmatched digital patternmaking and lifelike garment simulation, Optitex provides an integrated solution for protective clothing design to production, making them an innovation leader.

Manufacturer Awards – Presented by Elena Lai, Secretary General of ETSA

8) Innovative Global Manufacturer Award – Cobmex

Specializing in high-quality, durable sweaters for corporate and uniform markets, Cobmex has been committed to innovation, sustainability, and customer satisfaction for 25 years.

With global production facilities and responsibly sourced materials, COBMEX delivers exceptional craftsmanship and adapts to diverse client needs.

9) Fabric & Fibre Award – Carrington Textiles

Awarded for Carrington Textiles’ Spartan HT Flex Lite, the fabric uniquely combines high-performance durability with exceptional comfort and flexibility. Developed specifically for military applications, Spartan HT Flex Lite provides the optimal balance between robustness and wearability that defence personnel require.

10) Digitalised Manufacturer – Calvelex

Calvelex has transformed manufacturing efficiency through pioneering digital technologies like AI-enabled design and 3D virtual sampling. By incorporating current tech at every stage Calvelex leverages technology to deliver unparalleled value, flexibility and supply chain integration.

Suppliers & Distributors Awards – Presented by Jerry Moris

11) Best Managed Major Uniform Contract – Cooneen Group

Cooneen Group successfully delivered the NHS National Ambulance Uniform and General Workwear contract in 2022. Their team provided a fully managed and effective service, including stock forecasting, central warehouse storage, and deliveries to 400 UK sites for all 12 NHS Trusts.

12) Transformational Technology – Bodi.Me

Bodi.Me, an innovative leader in Sustainable Fashion Fit Technology, has developed Size-Me 3.0, a solution that offers precise size recommendations to tackle the problem of size mismatching. Additionally, Bodi.Me’s commitment to inclusivity and sustainability by leveraging technology aligns with evolving industry values, making them a deserving candidate for recognition in this award category.

13) Best Consultancy & Service – Workwear Solutions International

Workwear Solutions International is a pioneering garment and textiles consultancy specialising in workwear and PPE product development. By providing an agile team of experts on a project-specific basis, WSI provides expertise to the industry, making them a worthy recipient of this prestigious award.

Sustainability Awards – Presented by Fernanda Dias, Director General of Economic Activities at the Portuguese Ministry of Economy and Maritime Trade

14) Circular Product Award – Fiber2Fashion Consulting

Also awarded for the recyclable medical gowns designed for the Dutch healthcare system, Fiber2Fashion have led the way in what’s possible for circular PPE. The team was responsible for creating recyclable materials that met the specified standards and offered optimal comfort for frontline staff, helping to create a circular product which does not compromise on safety.

15) Sustainable Business Award – Meryl Fabrics

Meryl Fabrics is a pioneering force in sustainable materials. Their innovative yarns and fabrics are designed for full reusability, offering a cleaner, safer environment for workers and contributing to a circular economy.

Lifetime Achievement Award – Presented by Nisha Muire, Uniform Program Manager at Air Canada, and Yvette Ashby, CEO and Founder of PCIAW®

16) Lifetime Achievement Award – John Miln

John’s exemplary leadership and tireless advocacy have made an immeasurable difference for our industry over decades. His integrity and passion at the head of PCIAW® has inspired us through challenges and triumphs. He has been a mentor, guide and friend as he advanced and cared for our interests with a clear vision for the future of our industry.

With the PCIAW® Awards concluded for 2023, we are excited to announce we will be back in the UK in October 2024.

Be sure to follow us on LinkedIn to receive the latest news from PCIAW® regarding our next event, and we congratulate all our awards winners for their marvellous work.

PCIAW Uniform Networks Buyer, Trusted member