Volume 12, Issue 4 - July/August 2008

The Time Is Now
By Drew Vass

When I first began covering the window film industry, I was surprised to find very little mention of the green movement. At the time, this was a source of frustration for me, because I felt the product segment was such a natural fit and that the industry might be missing out on an enormous opportunity. Now, I understand why the industry has been a little slow (perhaps) to jump on the bandwagon. It simply predates it. Not to get lyrical, but—film was green before green was mainstream.

Over the past year, I have felt this industry gaining momentum and I believe this is largely due to increasing consumer interest and awareness. Everyone is focusing on the “energy crisis,” ways to save money in a slower economy, and environmental responsibility. Googling any of these terms should return “window film” as a direct hit. For this reason, the current times may present this industry with its greatest opportunity. It’s refreshing to know that I’m not alone in this view. In fact, I’ve found some pretty hefty backup in San Diego recently. On page 28, Christophe Fremont, president of Bekaert Specialty Films, agrees. Furthermore, he provides a precise prescription for how the industry can catapult itself into a prosperous future. According to Fremont, however, there is a much less attractive alternative, called … extinction.

At least several hundred industry members agree that the time is now. On May 1-3, in Las Vegas, film professionals gathered at our annual event for this very reason. And I must say, our speakers, exhibitors and attendees alike—delivered. Let there be no doubt, as consumers become increasingly informed and opportunities grow in the commercial segment, those who step up to the plate and educate themselves will flourish.

In spite of all its growth, at least one major hurdle remains for the industry—the Miami-Dade County standards. And, until this hurdle is cleared, film cannot be promoted as a hurricane protective device in Florida. For this issue, contributing writer Les Shaver reviews the industry’s progress and talks with industry professionals and representatives to determine how close film is to making Miami-Dade’s list. We have further proof that this industry has limitless potential. You see, it has outgrown our “Newsworthy” section. Sure, we could add a dozen or so pages to every issue and fit it all in, but window film isn’t the only industry embracing the green movement. Instead, we’re making our enewsletter, Focus on Film, a weekly publication. As a result, you can keep up with all the latest news on an ongoing basis, via email, and we all can sleep a little better knowing that one less tree gave its life in the process. If you’re not yet a subscriber, visit our website (www.windowfilmmag.com) and click on “FREE e-Newsletter.”

I, for one, welcome these busy times. And I challenge you to step up, meet the current opportunities and … make news. I can’t wait to cover your story. WF
—Drew Vass

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