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The Significance Of The ‘Seal Of Cotton’ Trademark

• By Stacey Gorman,
The Cotton Board,
Director of Communications •

seal of cotton

The Seal of Cotton was created in 1973 to build
brand awareness.

The Seal of Cotton has been vital in the success Cotton Incorporated has seen promoting brand awareness for cotton. Dukes Wooters, Cotton Incorporated’s first president, introduced the seal in 1973.

The initial idea for designing a cotton trademark came in 1971 when Wooters was looking for a symbol that would convert cotton from a commonplace agricultural commodity into an identifiable consumer brand.

The logo, known as the Seal of Cotton, was created in 1973 by San Francisco-based creative agency Landor Associates, which also designed Levi Strauss & Co.’s patch and Coca-Cola’s trademark.

At that time, cotton’s share of the textile market had dropped to 34 percent from 78 percent in 1960 due to the introduction of low-cost manmade fiber into the market. Within three years of the introduction of the seal, cotton’s marketshare had increased to 45 percent and today holds steady at about 50 percent.

An Iconic Tool

Since its introduction in 1973, the iconic Seal of Cotton trademark has been helping consumers quickly recognize products that contain cotton in textiles and nonwovens. It is currently used in a wide range of communications, including product packaging, window displays, point-of-sale displays, interactive digital experiences and television commercials.

Supported by more than 40 years of Cotton Incorporated advertising, the Seal of Cotton enables brands and retailers to create a point of distinction in cluttered retail spaces. A 2016 Cotton Incorporated survey showed 94 percent of consumers say the Seal of Cotton helps them identify cotton products.

In its 45 years of existence, the seal has become a globally recognized symbol associated with fashion, durability, quality and sustainability. It identifies and celebrates the many uses for cotton beyond textile fiber, appearing on products in the health and beauty, and industrial categories.

“We’re excited to offer brands and retailers the opportunity to leverage the visibility of and positive connections to the Seal of Cotton trademark,” says Kim Kitchings, Cotton Incorporated’s senior vice president of consumer marketing. “By calling attention to cotton, you can tell a story that consumers identify with, in addition to aligning with the perceptions of quality and trust consumers associate with the Seal of Cotton trademark.”

Reinforces High Expectations

More than 3 in 4 consumers say brands using the Seal of Cotton help them make an informed purchase decision, make the shopping experience easier, care more about the quality of their products, are more trustworthy and more authentic.

More than 3 in 4 consumers also say brands using the seal help them make an informed purchase decision, make the shopping experience easier, care more about the quality of their products, are more trus tworthy and more authentic.

Consumers expect quality in the apparel and home fashions they purchase. The Seal of Cotton enhances the fact that the cotton products they purchase will meet those expectations.

Each impression made reinforces consumer recognition of cotton apparel and home textiles and positively affects the overall demand for cotton and its products.

The data referenced in this story is from Cotton Incorporated’s Lifestyle Monitor Survey and 2016 Seal of Cotton Survey.

To learn more, please email Gorman at sgorman@cottonboard.org.