Interview with Jeff Bowman

Face2Face
Jeff Bowman
Jeff Bowman
CEO
Cocona / 37.5 Technology
Cocona / 37.5 Technology

Which are the major markets for your products? What is the share of exports in overall sales?

In descending order: the US, Western Europe, China, Japan and South Korea. Over 80 per cent of our products are exported to suppliers in the US, China, Taiwan, Pakistan, Turkey, El Salvador, India and South Korea.  A significant percentage of those products then find their way back into US when those suppliers manufacture fabrics for American brands, but I don't have visibility to those numbers as they are controlled by the brands we license to.

Does 37.5 use nanotechnology to infuse micro particles into the yarns of the fabrics? If not please share details about the technology used.

Cocona does not use nanotechnology. We infuse active particles directly into the master batch that is the precursor to polyester and nylon fibre and yarn production. We also print the active particles on fabrics, and infuse them into foam and synthetic leather applications.

How many washes can the Cocona technology last? Does the effect deteriorate with every wash?

The vast majority (over 95 per cent) of 37.5 technology is applied through filament and spun yarns. The particles never wash out of the yarns; we have garments that are over 8 years old (> 500 washes) that are as effective as when they were new. If anything, the performance increases with continued washing. Particles printed on fabrics will eventually begin to wash off at around 50 washes. Cocona currently uses this approach only with fabrics that are rarely washed (outerwear laminates).

Besides, bedding and apparel, what are the new applications for your products?

It includes footwear linings and inserts, insulation, foams, synthetic leather and towels. Grips for racket sports are currently in testing with pro tennis players and receiving rave reviews.  Additional opportunities, some of which are extremely large, are confidential at this time. 37.5 technology reduces the energy cost and time to launder towels in the hospitality industry by 30 per cent, and over 80 per cent of the cost of a towel over its lifetime is the energy required to launder it. Further, the reduction in time to dry the towels increases their life from 100 wash cycles up to 200 wash cycles.

What will be the next latest innovation at 37.5 after moisture management?

We are focused on improving human comfort and performance. 37.5 technology is a reactive technology that both warms and cools on demand to maximise comfort and performance, moisture management is just one part of the equation. One of our missions is to increase response times and capacity of our materials. Further, we are also focused on delivering the technology in new carriers and new end products.

Considering your product's major customer segment is youth, how important is it to reach out to end customers through social media and digital marketing tools?

It is critically important and a major focus of our marketing investments moving forward.  We have a number of initiatives in the works that I am not at liberty to discuss at this time as doing so will jeopardise their value.  One thing I can mention is that we have hired the agency WIP to manage our entire consumer facing marketing investments. They have provided us with a number of excellent ideas, including sending Donald Trump 37.5 bedding with a note from me encouraging him to sleep better so that he isn't compelled to tweet in the middle of the night.
Published on: 26/06/2017

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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