Barco Uniforms, a leader of design innovation in the healthcare apparel industry, celebrated its 90th anniversary on August 1, 2019. Since 1929, Barco has become an apparel industry powerhouse and is known as the pioneer of the modern medical scrubs industry. One out of every three healthcare professionals in the US has purchased Barco-branded scrubs.
“Celebrating 90 years in business is a tremendous accomplishment, and our success is built on the relationships we have with clients, partners, and dedicated Healthcare and service industry professionals around the world. They’ve challenged us to innovate the modern professional apparel industry and maintain our leadership position, and we are humbled by their support over the years,” Barco president and CEO David Murphy said in a press release by the company.
At its four-day celebration event, supermodel Cheryl Tiegs, who modelled for Barco early in her career in the 1960s, made a surprise guest appearance to help present its first annual ‘Made to Matter’ award, created to honour the world’s most inspiring healthcare professionals. The winner, Tatiana Giusti, advising professor and founder of Proyecto Mayu in Venezuela, will receive a year’s supply of new scrubs and a $5,000 donation to the charitable cause of her choice.
Barco products are sold in more than 50 countries and territories, including 1,200 independent retailers in the US and internationally. It employs more than 250 employees, and approximately one-third of the company is dedicated to design, research, and development, product development, merchandising, and fabric sourcing. The company has been privately owned and operated since its inception; Michael Donner currently serves as the chairman of the board.
“At Barco, the value of caring for others is at the heart of everything we stand for. The purpose of our work is focused on providing comfort for those who care for others – helping them to look, feel, and perform their best. The goal of our Barco Made to Matter award is to take that mentality one step further to honour and recognise healthcare’s most inspiring healthcare professionals, who work tirelessly to provide care to their patients and community,” Murphy said.
In 1929, Morris Barker founded Barco to provide uniforms for beauty and residential professionals. Seven years later, Kenneth Donner accepted an offer from his stepfather to run the company, bringing a keen business mind and a new fashion sensibility to designing uniforms. Donner brought a fashion-forward approach to the company, and leveraged technology and innovation to improve Barco’s products. Donner, known for obsessively sourcing and innovating fabrics the company used, was also known for focusing on the tiniest details in crafting a garment that would improve a nurse’s performance. (GK)