Cotton Council International (CCI), the National Cotton Council’s export promotion arm, continued to position U.S. cotton as the “The Cotton the World Trusts” and expand foreign demand for U.S. cotton fiber, yarn and other cotton products. To further that trust, COTTON USA™ and Oritain™ signed a partnership to provide industry leading, forensic verification of origin for all U.S. cotton. This move was intended to 1) give brands and retailers the assurance needed to make responsible sourcing and purchasing decisions and 2) provide COTTON USA with a unique selling point in both domestic and export markets.
As part of a COTTON USA Special Trade Mission coordinated by CCI, textile executives representing 20 Indonesian companies gained a deeper understanding of why U.S. cotton is the world’s preferred fiber. These firms later indicated that they expected to purchase an additional 194,000 bales of U.S. cotton in the next year.
Likewise, textile manufacturing executives representing 14 countries also traveled through the U.S. Cotton Belt as part of CCI’s biennial Orientation Tour. Those manufacturers were expected to consume about 3.7 million bales in 2019 and the countries they represented consume about 101 million cotton bales per year in their textile mills, which represents about 82 percent of the world’s cotton consumption.
WHAT’S NEW IN COTTON™
As part of its WHAT’S NEW IN COTTON™ initiative, CCI showcased an array of U.S. cotton-rich apparel created with innovative technology at Première Vision in Paris – which attracted about 53,000 visitors from 127 countries.
COTTON USA showed the global home textile industry WHAT’S NEW IN COTTON™, including new innovative technologies to drive sales growth at the Heimtextil in Frankfurt, Germany. The show attracted 67,500 visitors and 3,025 exhibitors from 65 countries.
COTTON USA also presented WHAT’S NEW IN COTTON? ™ at the Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles trade show. Attendees visit COTTON USA’s booth to learn about: 1) its collaboration with leading brands and retailers around the world, 2) how to license the COTTON USA™ Mark and 3) new innovative technologies to drive sales growth.
COTTON USA also had an information booth at Yarn Expo, held concurrently with the Intertextile event. CCI also exhibited jointly with the Spinners and Weavers Association of Korea at Preview in Seoul 2019 to showcase WHAT’S NEW IN COTTON™ with a focus on innovative, U.S. cotton-rich products from Korean COTTON USA™ licensees.
CCI partnered with China’s chief professional uniform designer, Liu Wei, who specializes in using new technical fabrics, to launch the 2019/20 COTTON USA Uniform Collection during Beijing Fashion Week. As an extension of the uniform project, COTTON USA then showcased the Liu Wei Uniform Collection and held an education forum on the advantages of COTTON USA at the Shanghai Occupational Uniform Expo -- to widen its impact throughout the uniform supply chain.
CCI also partnered with Chen Wen, a denim design master in China, and H.W. Textiles Co., Ltd., a Hong Kong-based denim fabric manufacturer, to launch a 2019-20 Fall/Winter Denim Fashion Collection during China Fashion Week at The Beijing Hotel. The denim fashion show showcased U.S. cotton-rich denim fabrics in recycled, innovative and retro fashion.
At the Peru Moda trade show in Lima, Peru, CCI highlighted how the U.S. cotton industry intends to meet its 2025 sustainability goals. CCI also promoted how its COTTON USA licensing program can boost business. Lima also was the site of the 2019 International Congress of Textile Innovation for Sustainable Development. On behalf of CCI, Dr. Andrew Jordan conducted presentations on the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol and a recent micro-fiber study. He also held seven face-to face meetings with U.S. cotton fiber buyers and export manufacturers regarding the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol and the U.S cotton industry’s commitment to building on its legacy of stewardship and transparency/trust from the farm to the customer.
At Colombiatex in Medellín City, Colombia, the COTTON USA Sourcing Program featured five U.S. mills (Buhler, Frontier, Hamrick, Keer America and Parkdale). These mills were able to finalize new sales of 200 tons of cotton yarns at Latin America’s largest textile show, which attracted visitors from 60 countries.
U.S. cotton and U.S. cotton textile manufacturers welcomed President of the Republic of Guatemala Jimmy Morales and U.S. Ambassador Luis E. Arreaga to the COTTON USA Pavilion at the Apparel Sourcing Show in Guatemala City. U.S. mills were featured in COTTON USA’s booth along with the COTTON USA licensing program and U.S. cotton sustainability.
Buyers and sellers of U.S. cotton-rich products expect about $115 million in future sales resulting from 2,300 meetings held during the two-day COTTON USA Sourcing Fair in Macau. In addition, 91 percent of the Fair’s participants agreed that U.S. cotton quality was better than cotton from other regions while U.S. cotton’s superior quality led 92 percent of participants to report they were “very likely” or “likely” to purchase more U.S. cotton and U.S. cotton products in the future.
The COTTON USA Western Hemisphere Sourcing Fair in Cancun, Mexico enabled participating U.S. mills and retailers to meet with Central American, Mexican and Andean textile and apparel executives to discuss business opportunities.
Colombiamoda provided a significant Sourcing Program opportunity as CCI showcased WHAT’S NEW IN COTTON™ with a focus on innovative U.S. cotton-rich products from Latin American COTTON USA™ licensees at its booth. The Medellin fair attracted 27,200 visitors with 500 exhibitors and 11,800 buyers.
CCI held the first EuroMed COTTON USA Sourcing Fair in Barcelona, Spain to provide regional sourcing assistance for companies looking for U.S. cotton fiber and yarns. The event brought together nearly 70 participants from seven countries, including garment and fabric manufacturers, yarn mills, brands and retailers. A survey found 85 percent of attendees were likely to purchase U.S. cotton/products compared with just 66 percent prior to the event.
CCI’s annual Cotton Days in Korean, Taiwan, China, Japan and Vietnam gathered representatives from the textile supply chain to increase demand for U.S. cotton through the value-added COTTON USA global marketing program. The Cotton Day events enabled CCI to increase awareness among mills, fabric manufacturers and brand/retailer licensees of 1) innovations in U.S. cotton including U.S. cotton-rich garments and 2) the U.S. cotton industry’s production, trade, sustainability, and traceability as well as the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol’s launch.
For example, CCI's 2019 China Cotton Day in Qingdao promoted the U.S. cotton industry’s sustainability, traceability, production and trade, as well as innovative U.S. cotton-rich garments and the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol. NCC Chairman Mike Tate, who introduced the Protocol, emphasized to attendees the U.S. industry’s commitment to growing and producing the most sustainable cotton. CCI China & Northeast Asia Director Karin Malmstrom discussed the environmental impacts of different microfibers along with U.S. cotton’s traceability and NCC President/CEO Gary Adams provided a brief introduction of U.S. cotton cultivation and trade.
Likewise, the 2019 Cotton Day Japan kicked off by CCI President Hank Reichle and included reports on U.S. cotton’s sustainability/traceability as well as the fiber’s technical and financial benefits. CCI received 22 new inquiries on joining the COTTON USA™ licensing program and three current COTTON USA™ retailer licensees in Japan indicated they would significantly increase licensed products.
Reichle also led a U.S. cotton executive delegation to engage with textile industry leadership in Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam. Other participants were: Tim North, chairman of the American Cotton Shippers Association (ACSA); ACSA Vice Chairman William Barksdale; ICE Vice President Tim Barry; Supima President & CEO Marc Lewkowitz; AMCOT representative, Carlo Bocardo; and ACP representatives, Doyle Schniers and Jason Condrey.
The fourth COTTON USA Mill Exchange Program brought textile mill executives from five major cotton-consuming nations—Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, India and Bangladesh—to host mills in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh to learn how to be more competitive and efficient using U.S. cotton. CCI also hosted technical seminars in India to discuss manufacturing process improvements with mills using U.S. cotton. More than 100 participants representing 42 textile mills and three U.S. cotton merchants attended.
A CCI-sponsored seminar in Hong Kong provided cotton and apparel market updates and sustainable fashion survey results to COTTON USA licensees and partners in the Hong Kong textile supply chain.
Mills participating mills in the COTTON USA Turkey Conference indicated they expected to purchase an additional 133,632 U.S. cotton bales in the next year as a result of the forum. Approximately 110 representatives from 40 of the country’s leading cotton spinning mills attended as well as U.S. merchants, cooperatives and agents representing more than 20 companies.