Opinion: A Cotton Textiles Success Story
A recent breakfast discussion with Arun Agarwal, chief executive officer of Dallas-based Nextt, led me to believe that cotton can provide enormous new opportunities.
Agarwal visited Lubbock with a mission to brand and promote Texas and United States’ cotton and to interact with cotton researchers at Texas Tech University.
“West Texas cotton can surely compete with Egyptian cotton, and branding efforts are needed,” he stated. Agarwal is already promoting Texas cotton as “Lone Star Cotton,” and his recent visit was part of the effort to promote and enhance the market opportunities for High Plains cotton.
Arun Agarwal (left) with Dr. Seshadri Ramkumar
Agarwal was impressed with the oil absorbency performance of the cotton based Towelie oil absorbent product, which he was introduced to a few months back. He noted that products like Towelie clearly promote the sustainable industrial applications of cotton.
Agarwal’s Nextt is a $500 million company that supplies cotton home textiles to giant retailers like Walmart, Costco and Kohl’s, to name a few. In revealing the secret to his success, he simply stated, “Providing cost effective solutions to customers’ requirements greatly helps.”
Utilizing unique attributes of a material like the sustainable attribute of cotton will enable new opportunities. “Human connection is important, no matter what we do,” advised Agarwal.
Agarwal’s supplier, who manufactures 600,000 square meters of fabric per day, hopes to consume about 500,000 bales of U.S. cotton this year from the High Plains region.