facebook_pixel

Building Demand Bale by Bale

Looking for Light Web

From Cotton Grower Magazine – April 2016. Third in a series on influences providing optimism for cotton’s future.

 

We all know about the stagnation of cotton prices. We all know that consumption numbers for cotton have declined. And we all know that there’s no quick fix for either problem.

But, a good deal of behind-the-scenes work by Cotton Incorporated is helping the U.S. industry – methodically – stake some new claims in apparel and other non-traditional markets.

“We’ve been watching declining retail sales for decades,” says Mark Messura, senior vice president, Global Supply Chains for Cotton Incorporated. “Out of every dollar that consumers spend, the share on clothing is getting smaller. Clothing has gotten cheaper, so consumer buying power is increasing. But more and more money is being spent on things like electronics, education, health care, and eating out.”

And when it comes to apparel and home goods, cotton continues to run head-on into its old nemesis polyester.

“When cotton went over $2 a pound, it scared the heck out of a lot of companies,” recalls Messura. “Some companies set up teams to find alternatives to cotton. We’re still living with the long-term effects. Cotton prices are horrible at the farm level, but, compared to polyester, we’re still expensive.”

Put simply, this is cotton’s greatest challenge. It may be the natural fiber, but it’s not the natural choice for manufacturers. That’s why Cotton Incorporated is working both the supply and demand sides of the market to increase interest in and usage of cotton.

They’re starting to make progress.

“The decisions on what fiber goes into clothing is typically made 18 to 24 months in advance of the time it appears in a store,” explains Messura. “When cotton prices shoot up, it’s not something that immediate resolves or changes. It can take two years or more for retailers to realized cotton is less expensive now and start putting more back in.”

Much of Cotton Incorporated’s emphasis now focuses on fabric performance, identifying new opportunities and industry marketing.

“We put a lot of emphasis on technologies,” says Messura. “Cotton is a natural fiber, so we have to do things with it to transform it chemically or mechanically into a fabric with performance features.”

To date, the track record for some of these technologies has been impressive and encouraging. Moisture moving technologies like TransDRY and sweat-hiding technology are helping grow cotton’s share in the athletic and athleisure markets. Liquid ammonia treated knits will allow cotton to compete on a more even playing field in women’s clothing – the largest share of the apparel fiber market, but the lowest share for cotton. And Storm Denim (aka, Storm Cotton) technology allows cotton to repel water without sacrificing the garment’s comfort and breathability.

The fastest growing category for fiber use comes from non-wovens – products like diapers and disposable wipes – and it’s been targeted as a huge opportunity for cotton. “We have to diversify our end uses for cotton, and we’re working hard to do it,” says Messura.

Cotton Incorporated is also continuing its role in technical support and market education for retailers and brands to help preserve cotton use in the market. Last year, the organization conducted 52 seminars around the world, reaching 1700 participants from more than 100 companies. Annual on-farm tours bring customers to the U.S. to see how cotton is grown, ginned and classed. And, continued participation in the Cotton LEADS program helps demonstrate how the industry is producing cotton responsibly and correctly.

“It’s all about informing our retailers and brands, because they’re going to choose cotton or something else,” adds Messura. “We’re asking them to commit to U.S. cotton and keep encouraging us to do the right thing.”

Topics: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Promotion Stories
Promotion

Cotton Groups Pledge Funding for CCI Activities

January 22, 2018

Ten U.S. cotton organizations have pledged industry contributions in 2018 to support the demand-building activities of Cotton Council International.

Promotion

L.L. Bean Ties Sustainability Efforts to Cotton LEADS

January 8, 2018

L.L. Bean has signed on as the newest partner of the Cotton LEADS program.

Promotion

Cotton Board Opens Contest for Calendar Photos

September 20, 2017

The Cotton Board is looking for photo entries for the organization’s 2018 Industry Calendar. There will be prizes.

Promotion

Key Global Customers to See “The Cotton the World Trusts”

September 15, 2017

Textile manufacturing executives from 15 countries will visit the U.S. Cotton Belt September 25-29 for the 40th COTTON USA Orientation Tour sponsored by Cotton Council International.

Promotion

Cotton Inc, Bloomingdale’s Launch Digital Cotton Fashion Shopping

September 7, 2017

Cotton Incorporated and Bloomingdale’s have teamed to launch the first 60-second, shoppable fashion show for cotton apparel.

Promotion

Cotton Board Ups Funding for Cottonseed Marketing

August 24, 2017

An additional $100,000 is being devoted to increasing demand for cottonseed in the dairy feeding industry.

Promotion

Cotton Board Okays New CI Budget, Elects Officers

August 17, 2017

The Cotton Board recommended $74 million for cotton research and promotion in 2018 and elected George LaCour as its 2017/2018 chairman during the organization’s annual meeting.

Around The Gin
Product News

Americot Adds New Sales Support in GA, KS and TX

January 23, 2018

Americot has expanded its sales support team in Georgia, Kansas and the Rolling Plains of Texas.

Product News

Indigo Offers Premium for Indigo Cotton Production

January 9, 2018

Indigo Ag has announced a new program that offers significant price premiums for U.S. cotton growers who contract to grow Indigo Cotton.

Product News

New Bayer Varieties Focus on High Yield, Adaptability

January 5, 2018

Bayer releases five new FiberMax and Stoneville varieties for introduction in 2018.

Product News

New PhytoGen TRiO Guards Cottonseed Investment

January 3, 2018

New PhytoGen TRiO seed treatment helps provide early season protection for young cottonseed from diseases, insects and nematodes.

Product News

Americot Adds Seven to Sales, Research Teams

December 20, 2017

Americot has added seven new sales and research associates to the company’s staff across the Cotton Belt.

Product News

Seven New Varieties in Deltapine Class of 18

December 11, 2017

Seven new varieties – including five Bollgard 3 XtendFlex offerings – join the Deltapine product lineup as the Class of 18.

Product News

Special Roundup Ready PLUS Incentives for Arkansas

December 7, 2017

Monsanto is offering a special Roundup Ready PLUS Crop Management Solutions platform in Arkansas for 2018 for growers planting XtendFlex cotton and Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybean varieties.

Product News

Monsanto Sets 2018 Crop Protection Incentives

December 5, 2017

Monsanto will provide multiple tools, resources and products to help cotton and soybean growers maximize weed control in 2018.

Latest News
Promotion

Cotton Groups Pledge Funding for CCI Activities

January 22, 2018

Ten U.S. cotton organizations have pledged industry contributions in 2018 to support the demand-building activities of Cotton Council International.

Promotion

L.L. Bean Ties Sustainability Efforts to Cotton LEADS

January 8, 2018

L.L. Bean has signed on as the newest partner of the Cotton LEADS program.

Promotion

Three Named to Cotton Research and Promotion Hall of Fame

December 6, 2017

Dr. Hal Lewis, Sykes Martin and Dr. Bill Lyle are the newest members of the Cotton Research and Promotion Program Hall of Fame.

Promotion

Walmart Joins Cotton LEADS Program

November 30, 2017

Walmart is the newest member of the Cotton LEADS program.

Promotion

Cotton Board Opens Contest for Calendar Photos

September 20, 2017

The Cotton Board is looking for photo entries for the organization’s 2018 Industry Calendar. There will be prizes.

Promotion

Key Global Customers to See “The Cotton the World Trusts”

September 15, 2017

Textile manufacturing executives from 15 countries will visit the U.S. Cotton Belt September 25-29 for the 40th COTTON USA Orientation Tour sponsored by Cotton Council International.

Promotion

Cotton Inc, Bloomingdale’s Launch Digital Cotton Fashion Shopping

September 7, 2017

Cotton Incorporated and Bloomingdale’s have teamed to launch the first 60-second, shoppable fashion show for cotton apparel.

Promotion

Cotton Board Ups Funding for Cottonseed Marketing

August 24, 2017

An additional $100,000 is being devoted to increasing demand for cottonseed in the dairy feeding industry.

Promotion

Cotton Board Okays New CI Budget, Elects Officers

August 17, 2017

The Cotton Board recommended $74 million for cotton research and promotion in 2018 and elected George LaCour as its 2017/2018 chairman during the organization’s annual meeting.

Promotion

Cotton Board Adds New Regional Communication Managers

August 1, 2017

Christi Chadwell and Shelley Heinrich are The Cotton Board’s new Regional Communication Managers serving the Southwest.

Promotion

Wrangler Joins Field to Market Sustainability Efforts

June 30, 2017

Wrangler is the first apparel brand to join the sustainable agriculture alliance.

Promotion

Cotton LEADS Adds HUGO BOSS to Partner Ranks

June 29, 2017

Global fashion house HUGO BOSS is the newest member of the Cotton LEADS program.

Promotion

USDA Seeks Cotton Board Nominees

June 15, 2017

USDA is seeking nominations for candidates to fill 13 member and 13 alternate positions on the Cotton Board.

Promotion

Analysis Shows Value of Cotton Research & Promotion Program

June 7, 2017

A recent analysis of the Cotton Research & Promotion Program has shown that the Program provides strong, positive returns to cotton producers and importers.

Promotion

Wrangler Launches Pilot Program for Sustainable U.S. Cotton Supply

May 26, 2017

Wrangler is partnering with a family of Alabama cotton growers on a pilot program to help U.S. cotton farmers achieve greater sustainable growing practices.