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A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Cotton’s Demise: It Changed

There's been a lot of negative talk lately about cotton: how it's lost its mojo and fallen out favor with consumers. In today’s market, cotton is challenged in significant ways as it has to compete with an oversupply of synthetic fibers, a fast evolving textile supply chain, and changing consumer attitudes toward natural fibers. Of course, cotton always has to contend with weather, insects, weeds, and other growing problems; farmers year in and year out face such production challenges. Even so, there's always the demand of the market that ultimately tells the story of the success or failure of a product. Over the past few years, it seems as though the textile supply chain and consumers prefer synthetics. Cotton has lost market share. I've written several critical commentaries about the cotton business in various publications over the past few months. Much of my concern has centered on the lack of focus on the part of the industry to address inroads made by synthetics. Further, there’s confusion in the market over cotton's message. The frankly fallacious campaign conducted by proponents of "green" production (at the expense of traditional growing practices) has only helped to undermine the benefits of cotton. Read More »

Why Not Auction Your Cotton?

If you want to sell something for the highest possible price, you should try a method that dates back to around 500 B.C. That’s around the time humans first used auctions as a means to a higher price. Your first thought may be, “I’ve never heard of an auction for cotton.” And you are correct if you think an auction ... Read More »

Cotton School Opens Industry Doors

Call it the perfect education for pursuing a career in the cotton industry. In fact, you couldn’t find a better description for the International Cotton Institute conducted every summer at the University of Memphis. The school, which began in 1995, offers an eightweek curriculum that covers every aspect of cotton marketing and production. Read More »

Montana – Where Ag Reigns Supreme

When I learned that I’d be traveling to Montana earlier this summer with a group of cotton farmers, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. But I had a pretty good idea that it would be a fabulous time for everybody. Believe it or not, I had a positive experience two years ago when I traveled with a similar group to North Dakota – and I knew this trip might be even better. Read More »

Quality Cotton is Definitely Sustainable

Physical parameters are no longer the only indicators for the quality of cotton. New characteristics have come into play when referring to quality. Sustainability, transparency and social compliance are increasingly important to the end consumer today although the definitions and understanding of these terms can vary considerably. During my 10 years of working in the jeans industry, critics often question how clean our supply chain is. Those brands and retailers that are motivated to continuously reduce their environmental impact are a strong force. Both governmental and non-governmental organizations are pushing toward this continuous improvement. Read More »

Going With The Flow

The NCC is working to ensure that U.S. cotton warehouses understand why compliance with the minimum shipping standard in the USDA Commodity Credit Corporation's Cotton Storage Agreement is vital to the cotton industry's health. The NCC's Board of Directors earlier this year approved a NCC Cotton Flow Committee recommendation that will give USDA the ability to see shipping order scheduling exchanges between merchants and warehouses. Read More »

Don’t Underestimate Importance Of Cotton Brand

By Xi Jin, Manager of International Cooperation, China National Cotton Information Center Beijing, China Value In Brands The premium of cotton partly exists in quality, but mostly in brand. Tagging the cotton brand onto the end products will boost the value of cotton to a great extent. Supima, Giza, SJV, Certified FiberMax and Stoneville are good examples. Every time I ... Read More »