BY STACEY GORMAN
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS
Cotton Incorporated is composed of multiple divisions, all working together to increase the demand for and profitability of cotton from farm to retail. Although each division has its own niche mission, they all play an important role in keeping cotton viable for years to come.
Cotton Incorporated’s Global Supply Chain Marketing division is charged with influencing decisions at all points in the supply chain to further the demand for cotton in products. The division works with more than 500 companies in more than 30 countries every year to maximize cotton marketing opportunities.
GSCM activities are anchored in three strategic objectives: build a global presence for cotton; promote product and technology ideas; and conduct education, training and technical assistance through marketing programs that further the use of cotton in products. GSCM division staff work to maintain a global presence for cotton by having direct and frequent interaction with mills, manufacturers, brands and retailers for the apparel, nonwovens and home products markets.
Focus On Retailers, Brands
To stay connected with key markets, the GSCM staff attends major trade shows, including Outdoor Retailer in the United States and Premiere Vision in Europe. Cotton Incorporated often teams up with Cotton Council International and other industry partners to introduce new cotton products and technologies to a large audience of potential downstream users and decision makers.
Working with retailers and brands, the GSCM division has introduced Cotton Incorporated technologies, such as TransDRY finish, into products with Eddie Bauer and Orvis. Cotton Incorporated’s STORM COTTON and TOUGH COTTON technologies are featured in products sold by Target, Walmart, Abercrombie and American Giant, among many others.
GSCM is at the front lines of the Cotton LEADS program, a joint effort between the United States and Australia to get retailers and brands to accept these countries’ cottons into their supply chains. To date, there are more than 500 partners. Among the most recent ones are Walmart, GAP, Wrangler and L.L. Bean.
In 2017, the division organized “Optimized Cotton Processing — Moving Toward Sustainability in the Supply Chain” events in Bangkok, Thailand and Vietnam. The events provided participants with information on sourcing for high-quality and responsibly produced cotton and ideas to improve quality and efficiency in fiber processing. The three occasions, jointly organized with CCI, attracted about 220 participants from eight Asian countries.
GSCM also prepared a two-day private workshop on cotton products and cotton processing for 35 buyers of the most rapidly growing department store in Mexico. Additionally, a one-day customized presentation on cotton fiber properties was made to 40 apparel buyers of a large, mid-tier department store.
Along with the largest Mexican mill and importer of U.S. cotton in Latin America, staff exhibited garments on the runway at Fashion Week Mexico. The collection featured 20 stylish garments made of denim, twill and other cotton fabrics. The runway event was covered by social media and specialized fashion publications.
The Activewear Market
Other 2017 events, the ACTIVE Cotton–Lab Series, were held at the Cary, North Carolina, headquarters. They brought together representatives of leading activewear and outdoor brands for hands-on education, fabric and technology innovation demonstrations, and trade show-type displays. The goal was to show cotton product technology concepts that work in the activewear market.
Whether meeting with individual companies or executing industry events, the GSCM staff works with Cotton Incorporated’s other departments to ensure the company’s resources are favorably used to influence industry decisions toward using cotton in products.
To learn more, email Gorman at email@example.com.