cotton

  • A Conversation About Cotton

    From USA-ITA OFF THE CUFF for May 17, 2013

    On May 14th, USA-ITA and Cotton Incorporated hosted a seminar in New York City to provide an update on the cotton market and some of Cotton Incorporated’s new initiatives in education and sustainability. 

    Teresa Zugay, Cotton Incorporated’s Senior Executive Account Manager for Global Supply Chain Marketing, kicked off the session with an overview of Cotton University, a free online resource for industry professionals, faculty, and students to learn more about working with cotton. In summary, the program allows you to learn, connect, and grow—and in particular, become an expert on the topics of most interest to you and your company. In addition to a wide variety of online, self-paced courses, Cotton University also offers a library of resources, forums to connect with other experts and students, and information on Cotton Incorporated’s in-person workshops. We encourage you to visit www.cottonuniversity.org to sign up—or send it along to the relevant sourcing people on your team.

    Mark Messura, Cotton Incorporated’s Senior Vice President of Global Supply Chain Marketing, then provided an overview of the cotton market today. There are two things to know. First, there is stability in pricing right now. Second, there is uncertainty, especially about what’s going on in China with cotton prices.

    In sharp contrast to the cotton market about a year and a half to two years ago, prices are relatively stable, with the 13-month average price hovering around 86.6 cents/pound, and prices are competitive relative to polyester.

    Nonetheless, we have to keep an eye on China—as you’ll see in slide 21, the price of cotton in China is significantly higher than the price of cotton on other indices. With 70 percent of cotton consumed by China, India, the United States, and Pakistan, whatever happens in these countries can move the market significantly. In China, consumption is down 18.2 percent, which coincides with a decline in China’s competitive advantage due to labor costs and other factors. Yet, China has a huge supply of cotton reserves, which, as you can see in slide 34, have increased while mill use has decreased. The big question is how China will deal with these reserves. On January 14th, the Chinese government began a strategic reserves auction, with purchases limited to Chinese textile mills with no reselling allowed. 

    It’s not just China that has excess cotton. In fact, the 2013/2014 harvest will lead to the biggest inventory of cotton on the planet, ever. We could almost take a year off from growing cotton—though we won’t, because the cotton industry accounts for just too many jobs all over the world.

    In conclusion, we’re seeing three trends in the cotton market:

    1. There is a supply-side risk, given China’s strategic cotton reserves. The reserves are increasing, yet domestic prices remain high.
    2. Planting is lower this year, with lower production forecasts.
    3. The variance in world production is dwarfed by China’s inventory.

    What to do with all these cotton reserves? Consumers still love denim, and cotton products generally, but we’ve seen a huge shift in consumers’ attitudes about buying clothing. In 2008, 46% of consumers said they would rather spend their money on things other than clothes. In 2012, the number jumped to 54 percent. This number even increased among the key shopping demographic, women ages 18-34, which could be a problem.

    Another issue to think about is sustainability, and how you balance people, the planet, and profit. Consumers are increasingly aware of environmental issues, especially among that aforementioned shopping demographic. Americans always lagged behind Europeans when it comes to environmental activism, but now they’re catching up, and brands should take note.

    Nonetheless, while people care more about environmentally friendly clothing, it’s still not a main driver for purchasing decisions. Those drivers remain fit, comfort, quality, style, and price. In short, while you should pay attention to sustainability, you still need to pay attention to the other factors, particularly price.

    People have very different attitudes about what they will eat than what they will wear or put in their home. This is especially clear when we look at “organic”—organic clothing is on the decline because people are not willing to pay two times the price for “organic” clothing, even though they are willing to pay for organic food. It’s a better marketing strategy for brands to find other ways to call out their environmental benefits—such as natural fibers, or a decrease in water or electrical use, or packaging improvements—rather than simply sell “organic” clothing.

    This is where Cotton Incorporated can help you. After all, cotton is a “natural” fiber and can generally be marketed as such, which consumers like. There are many ways you can get credit for “sustainability” as there are many resources for responsible cotton, especially in the United States. For more information on this, visit  http://www.cottoninc.com/sustainability/.

    For more information on the fabric of our lives today, download the presentation or visit www.cottoninc.com

  • BCI and USFIA Collaborate to Promote Responsible Cotton Sourcing

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) and the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) announce that they will collaborate to promote responsible cotton sourcing. As of today, BCI is an Associate Member of USFIA, and USFIA is a member of BCI.

    USFIA represents the fashion industry, including textile and apparel brands, retailers, importers and wholesalers, based in the United States and doing business globally.

    The Better Cotton Initiative is an NGO working with a multi-stakeholder group of organisations to support responsible cotton production worldwide.

    “USFIA is thrilled to partner with BCI,” says Julia K. Hughes, President of USFIA. “Our members, which include iconic global brands and major retailers, are committed to responsible sourcing at all levels in the supply chain. By collaborating with and learning from BCI, our members will be able to enhance that commitment from literally the ground up.”

    The partnership allows BCI and USFIA to mutually benefit from each other’s expertise. BCI will provide information about supporting responsibly grown cotton to USFIA members. In turn, USFIA can support BCI members in navigating the complex sourcing issues in the United States and around the globe. Through publications, educational events and networking opportunities, USFIA will enable BCI to connect with key stakeholders across the value chain, including US and international service providers, suppliers and industry groups.

    “As BCI continues to expand in the US, we’re excited to join a reputable organisation like USFIA. In such a rapidly changing industry, we look forward to exploring how this partnership can enable the supply chain of the future,” says Daren Abney, Membership Engagement Manager at BCI.

    To find out more about BCI and USFIA, visit their websites.

    Press Contact:Samantha Sault, USFIA Vice President of Communications, at 301-685-5009 orThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Congrats to USA-ITA Cotton Board Appointees!

    From USA-ITA OFF THE CUFF for November 30, 2012

    In case you missed it, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced new appointments to the Cotton Board, including a number of USA-ITA members! We would like to congratulate:

    Sonja Chapman of Golden Touch Imports and Janet Ydavoy of The Jones Group, reappointed as members;

    Jon Brewer of Pacific Sunwear, reappointed as an alternate member;

    Charles McMurray of Kohl’s Department Stores, newly appointed as a member; and,

    Karen Kyllo of SGS, newly appointed as the consumer advisor.

    For more information on the Cotton Board, click here.

  • Cotton Board Advisory Committee

    The Cotton Board Advisory Committee provides guidance and recommendations for nominees to serve on the Cotton Board to ensure that brands, retailers, and importers are well-represented. When necessary, the committee also discusses policies and procedures for the implementation of the Cotton Research and Promotion Program and makes recommendations for the USFIA Board of Directors if action is required.

    Committee Composition: USFIA leadership and representatives from USFIA Brand/Retailer/Importer Members serving on the Cotton Board

    Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Cotton Farming: Want Style, Sustainability? Consider Cotton.

    By Julia K. Hughes

    While our members have always been committed to sourcing at the highest standards, today they are particularly focused on ethical sourcing as a critical component of business operations. USFIA facilitates discussions on how to source the right product at the right price – and today, that’s a product manufactured in a safe, sustainable and responsible way.

    But, we’re in the business of fashion – so, in today’s competitive market, that product must also meet customers’ standards for fit, function and style. USFIA member companies source prod- ucts made with every type of fiber imaginable. If you’re looking at the whole equation – including sustainability, fit, function and style – cotton will remain an essential fiber.

    Click here to read the entire article on the Cotton Farming website.

  • Cotton Fee Increases Scheduled for September 30th; Updated HTS Information Now Available

    Textile Development Memo for September 14, 2011

     

    Cotton Fee Increases Scheduled for September 30th; Updated HTS Information Now Available

  • Fashion Cloture: USFIA and BCI Partner to Promote Responsible Cotton Sourcing

    By Kenya Wiley

    The U.S. Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) and the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) recently announced their plans to partner and promote responsible cotton sourcing. As a result of the partnership, USFIA will support BCI members in navigating complex, sourcing issues. BCI, which produced the first Better Cotton global standards in 2009, will provide their expertise on responsibly grown cotton.

    Click here to read the entire article on the Fashion Cloture website.

  • House Movement on FTAs; More on China Trade Issues; 2011 C-TPAT Training; Cotton Subsidies and West Africa

    Textile Development Memo for December 7, 2010

    In this TDM:

  • House Votes to Defund Payments to Brazil Cotton Producers; USTR Asks ITC to Analyze Economic Effect of WTO Duty-Free Quota-Free Benefits

    Textile Development Memo for June 22, 2011

    In This TDM:

  • ITC Concludes DR's "Two for One" Program Insufficient to Preserve Apparel Production; CITA Considering Request to Remove or Restrict Certain Compact Cotton Yarns Under CAFTA-DR; NTA Seeking Tariffs on Chinese Upholstery Fabrics

    Textile Development Memo for July 27, 2011

    In This TDM:

  • Joint Statement From AAFA, NRF, RILA, USFIA in Response to Administration's Enforcement Actions to Prohibit XPCC Cotton

    The American Apparel and Footwear Association, National Retail Federation, Retail Industry Leaders Association, and The United States Fashion Industry Association responded to an announcement from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) earlier today, on enforcement action regulating cotton imports from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) of China to address widespread human rights abuses.

    Our industry condemns forced labor and strives to eradicate it whether in China or elsewhere in the world. We are on the frontlines of efforts to ensure forced labor does not taint our supply chains or enter the United States. We welcome increased efforts by the U.S. Government and other entities to address the human rights abuses, including forced labor and the persecution and detention of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in China. We note that today’s action is focused specifically on XPCC, which is already the subject of sanctions the industry is helping to enforce. 

    Clearly defined Withhold Release Orders (WROs) based on specific and actionable intelligence greatly supplement our own considerable enforcement activity, and we look forward to working with CBP to build a detailed and practical implementation strategy to make sure today’s actions are effective, enforceable, and focused on the bad actors who insist upon exploiting slave labor and do not harm trusted traders or our supply chain partners who are working tirelessly to stamp out forced labor.

    Forced labor is abhorrent; it is one component of a much larger campaign of oppression. The campaign of oppression in the XUAR region must be addressed holistically to achieve the lasting outcomes we seek to achieve.

    Today’s action reinforces the need for a unified and comprehensive approach to this human rights crisis, and we want to renew our calls for the U.S. Government to build and lead a coalition involving all stakeholders and allied countries to put pressure on China to end forced labor, and the wider campaign of repression it fuels, immediately. U.S. unilateral action can only succeed in ending these forced labor practices if it is accompanied by a “whole of world” approach.

    About the American Apparel & Footwear Association
    The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) is the national trade association representing apparel, footwear and other sewn products companies, and their suppliers, which compete in the global market. Representing more than 1,000 world famous name brands, we are the trusted public policy and political voice of the apparel and footwear industry, its management and shareholders, its nearly four million U.S. workers, and its contribution of more than $400 billion in annual U.S. retail sales. AAFA provides exclusive expertise in trade, brand protection, and supply chain & manufacturing to help our members navigate the complex regulatory environment and lower costs. Members gain unparalleled access to information and exclusive insights on regulation and policy, and premier opportunities for networking and collaboration.

    About NRF
    The National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade association, passionately advocates for the people, brands, policies and ideas that help retail thrive. From its headquarters in Washington, D.C., NRF empowers the industry that powers the economy. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, contributing $3.9 trillion to annual GDP and supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 52 million working Americans. For over a century, NRF has been a voice for every retailer and every retail job, educating, inspiring and communicating the powerful impact retail has on local communities and global economies. 

    About RILA
    RILA is the US trade association for leading retailers. We convene decision-makers, advocate for the industry, and promote operational excellence and innovation. Our aim is to elevate a dynamic industry by transforming the environment in which retailers operate. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs, and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities, and distribution centers domestically and abroad.

    About the United States Fashion Industry Association
    The United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) is dedicated to fashion made possible by global trade. USFIA represents brands, retailers, importers, and wholesalers based in the United States and doing business globally. Founded in 1989, USFIA works to eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers that impede the fashion industry’s ability to trade freely and create jobs in the United States.

    Headquartered in Washington, D.C., USFIA is the voice of the fashion industry in front of the U.S. government as well as international governments and stakeholders. With constant, two-way communication, USFIA staff and counsel serve as the eyes and ears of our members in Washington and around the world, enabling them to stay ahead of the regulatory challenges of today and tomorrow. Through our publications, educational events, and networking opportunities, USFIA also connects with key stakeholders across the value chain including U.S. and international service providers, suppliers, and industry groups.

  • Joint Statement from AAFA, NRF, RILA, USFIA in Response to Ban on All Cotton Imports From XUAR

    USFIA_horizontal_logo_web.png

     

    WASHINGTON, DC -The American Apparel & Footwear Association, National Retail Federation, Retail Industry Leaders Association, and The United States Fashion Industry Association responded to today’s blanket Withhold Release Order (WRO) impacting all cotton and cotton products from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR):

    The companies we represent remain outraged by the reports of forced labor in the XUAR – and reports that Uyghurs are being trafficked to other regions – and have long made eradicating forced labor in our supply chains a top operational and public policy priority.

    Today’s announcement matches our members’ accelerated commitment in this region. The industry is pioneering and implementing new technologies and innovative approaches to decipher where supply chains are susceptible to forced labor, particularly as it relates to XUAR. We look forward to working with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to make sure enforcement is smart, transparent, targeted, and effective. We urge CBP to share with industry the evidence gathered, and the evidentiary thresholds used, that led to today’s announcement. Additionally, we ask CBP to share enforcement actions so that industry can further inform their due diligence and amplify and expand CBP’s enforcement efforts.

    We look forward to working with the new Congress and new administration to build on today’s announcement by developing and implementing a holistic approach that provides all stakeholders a clear, effective, and enforceable path forward on reaching our shared goal – ending forced labor and the larger campaign of oppression it fuels.

    About the American Apparel & Footwear Association
    The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) is the national trade association representing apparel, footwear and other sewn products companies, and their suppliers, which compete in the global market. Representing more than 1,000 world famous name brands, we are the trusted public policy and political voice of the apparel and footwear industry, its management and shareholders, its nearly four million U.S. workers, and its contribution of more than $400 billion in annual U.S. retail sales. AAFA provides exclusive expertise in trade, brand protection, and supply chain & manufacturing to help our members navigate the complex regulatory environment and lower costs. Members gain unparalleled access to information and exclusive insights on regulation and policy, and premier opportunities for networking and collaboration.

    About NRF
    The National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade association, passionately advocates for the people, brands, policies and ideas that help retail thrive. From its headquarters in Washington, D.C., NRF empowers the industry that powers the economy. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, contributing $3.9 trillion to annual GDP and supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 52 million working Americans. For over a century, NRF has been a voice for every retailer and every retail job, educating, inspiring and communicating the powerful impact retail has on local communities and global economies. 

    About RILA
    RILA is the US trade association for leading retailers. We convene decision-makers, advocate for the industry, and promote operational excellence and innovation. Our aim is to elevate a dynamic industry by transforming the environment in which retailers operate. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs, and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities, and distribution centers domestically and abroad.

    About the United States Fashion Industry Association
    The United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) is dedicated to fashion made possible by global trade. USFIA represents brands, retailers, importers, and wholesalers based in the United States and doing business globally. Founded in 1989, USFIA works to eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers that impede the fashion industry’s ability to trade freely and create jobs in the United States.

    Headquartered in Washington, D.C., USFIA is the voice of the fashion industry in front of the U.S. government as well as international governments and stakeholders. With constant, two-way communication, USFIA staff and counsel serve as the eyes and ears of our members in Washington and around the world, enabling them to stay ahead of the regulatory challenges of today and tomorrow. Through our publications, educational events, and networking opportunities, USFIA also connects with key stakeholders across the value chain including U.S. and international service providers, suppliers, and industry groups.

  • just-style: Better Cotton builds momentum as membership grows 50%

    By Michelle Russell

    The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) says it is achieving scale in an exceptionally short time, after growing its membership by 50% last year and generating a 34.35% rise in income...

    Most recent new members include C&A, PT Indo-Rama, Manufacturas Kaltex SA de CV, and the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA).

    Click here to read the entire article on the just-style website.

  • just-style: Campaigners call for change as cotton harvest begins

    By Leonie Barrie

    As the annual cotton harvest gets underway in Uzbekistan, industry stakeholders from around the world have set out a number of steps they want the country's government to take to end the use of forced and child labour in the sector.

    Working under the banner of the Cotton Campaign, they are calling for the prohibition--and prosecution--of anyone coercing people to pick cotton.

    Click here to read the entire article on the just-style website.

  • just-style: US groups collaborate on responsible cotton sourcing

    By Katie Smith

    The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) and the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) are set to join forces to promote responsible cotton sourcing.

    Click here to read the entire article on the just-style website.

  • Meeting Cotton's Competitive Challenges

    From USA-ITA OFF THE CUFF for May 3, 2013

    There’s no doubt that cotton is “the fabric of our lives,” and remains one of the most important fibers for USA-ITA members. However, there’s also no doubt that cotton faces challenges—especially as polyester and other man-made fibers are on the rise. On April 18th, USA-ITA President Julia K. Hughes attended an invitation-only event titled “Meeting Cotton’s Competitive Challenges” hosted by the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) at the Embassy of Switzerland.  

    According to ICAC, “analysts reported at the 71st Plenary Meeting that polyester now dominates the global fiber market, with cotton’s share continuing to decline.” During the April 18th meeting, ICAC indeed presented data that, despite growth in world cotton mill use, there is nonetheless expected to be a continuing decline in cotton’s share of worldwide fiber consumption. Much of this discussion centered on the impact of polyester and man-made fibers on the demand for cotton, but there are also other issues to consider, such as rising costs, shifts in consumers’ spending, and shifts in consumers’ views about cotton.

    The four big issues covered during the day were:

    $11.      The importance of sustainability,

    $12.      The impact of price volatility, which is mainly due to speculation,

    $13.      The benefits of standardization, and,

    $14.      The importance of content labeling.

    The conclusion? ICAC can play a role as an effective voice and advocate for cotton on the global stage, particularly in spreading the word that cotton is a natural, sustainable fiber.

    The full summary of the presentations is available for download here. If you would like to see more details about any particular presentation, please let us know.

    And, if you’re particularly interested in an update on the cotton market and other cotton issues, we encourage you to register ASAP for our seminar on May 14th with Cotton Incorporated!

  • Recap: USFIA at the URI Cotton Conference

    What’s happening in the global textile and apparel industry? Is apparel manufacturing really returning to the United States? And just how far does a t-shirt travel before it gets to the consumer? These were among the questions discussed at the University of Rhode Island’s Cotton Summit in September.

    USFIA President Julia K. Hughes was as a featured speaker at the University of Rhode Island’s Cotton Summit, which was sponsored by the Importer Support Program of the Cotton Board and Cotton Incorporated. The event brought together over 180 attendees from the URI community and broader textile and apparel industry to talk about the global nature of cotton and the importance of embracing the global value chain.

    Hughes spoke about textile and apparel trends especially for cotton apparel. She also shared with the students the perspective of the fashion industry (based on the benchmarking study released earlier this year) as well as USFIA’s position on key policy initiatives. You can download her presentation here. 

    Also sharing the stage was Auggie Tantillo, President of the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO). It’s no surprise that NCTO and USFIA do not agree on the best approaches in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) or the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations, but the students clearly appreciated the chance to listen to the various views and to talk about the impact of trade policy on the industry. 

    The highlight was the opportunity to meet students at URI and spend time looking at their research and updates on special projects. Hughes and Tantillo agreed on one thing—that the URI event was a great success. We may often be on opposite sides of the issues, but we’re glad to come together to talk about the broad challenges we all face and how we can work together for the greater good of the industry. 

    Julie and Auggie at the URI Cotton Conference

    L to R: USFIA's Julia K. Hughes, URI's Sheng Lu, and NCTO's Auggie Tantillo

  • Reid Puts China Currency Bill on Senate Schedule; Get Ready for Changes in the Cotton Fee Assessment

     

    Textile Development Memo for September 27, 2011

    In this TDM:

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