Cotton Council International (CCI), the export promotion arm of the National Cotton Council of America (NCC), is a non-profit trade association that promotes U.S. cotton fiber and manufactured cotton products around the globe with its Cotton USA trademark. CCI has 60 years of experience promoting U.S. cotton fiber and products to trade and consumers. It works with spinning mills, fabric and garment manufacturers, brands, retailers, textile associations, governments and the USDA to facilitate the use of U.S. cotton. Our reach extends to more than 50 countries through 20 offices around the world.
CCI’s mission is to make U.S. cotton the preferred fiber for mills/manufacturers, brands/retailers and consumers, commanding a value-added premium that delivers profitability across the U.S. cotton industry and drives export growth of fibre, yarn and other cotton products.
In an exclusive interview with IMAGES Business of Fashion, Peush Narang, Representative – India, Cotton Council International, talks about the different programmes Cotton USA showcased at India Fashion Forum 2019, held in Mumbai, and the company’s India initiatives.
Excerpts from the interview…
Tell us about Cotton USA and its initiatives for India? What’s new?
Cotton USA is the brand name for all U.S. grown cotton that is owned by Cotton Council International and that we promote globally. CCI works with spinning mills, fabric and garment manufacturers, brands and retailers, textile associations, governments and the USDA in many countries and every continent to facilitate the use of U.S. cotton. Our work is based on relationships and we work closely with cotton spinning and fabric manufacturing companies to build connections across the entire supply chain. Innovation is a key reason that makes Cotton USA ‘Cotton The World Trusts’. Our recent ‘What’s New in Cotton’ initiative showcases innovative technologies that will inspire everyone in the textile supply chain to think about the new opportunities that U.S. cotton can provide them.
What are the different programs that you have showcased at India Fashion Forum 2019?
We had showcased our ‘U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol’ which lists the recently established national goals for continual improvement in key areas of environmental stewardship, farm productivity and resource efficiency, including land, water, air, input and energy use by 2025.
Tell us about U.S. cotton’s quality, sustainability, transparency, premium value and innovation which you promoted at IFF?
The U.S. cotton industry is the first to establish national quantifiable goals for sustainability. Additionally, its farmers operate under voluminous, stringent and enforceable regulations.
The six specific goals the Task Force has set to achieve by 2025 are:
1. Reducing by 13 percent the amount of land needed to produce a pound of cotton fibre
2. Reducing soil loss by 50 percent, in balance with new soil formation
3. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 39 percent
4. Reducing energy to produce seed cotton and ginned lint by 15 percent
5. Increasing water use efficiency (more fiber per gallon) by 18 percent
6. Increasing soil carbon in fields by 30 percent
The U.S. cotton industry has a robust system for 100 percent bale classification. Every cotton bale has a Permanent Bale Identification (PBI) tag that identifies where the cotton was grown along with its characteristics including fiber length, strength, color, micronaire, etc.
The Cotton USA Mark is a sign of softness, strength, comfort and sustainability to consumers around the world. It identifies superior cotton products made with a majority of cotton grown in the USA. Cotton USA is committed to bringing you the latest in cotton innovation. It’s part of the premium value we offer the entire cotton supply chain
Tell us about Cotton USA licensees and potential business partnerships that you have from India and the potential that you explored at IFF?
India is amongst one of the largest users of cotton and offers limitless potential, as both the manufacturers and the final consumer have a desire for better quality cotton and Cotton USA has all the attributes to become the fiber of their choice. We have more than 35 licensee mills in India who are buying U.S. cotton, and the leading brands in India have already started labelling Cotton USA to create differentiation in their product lines.
Since U.S. cotton is a fibre of choice globally, share the growth potential for the Indian Market? How companies in India have gained a better understanding of how U.S. cotton can add value to the products they manufacture?
We have more than 35 licensee mills in India who are buying U.S. cotton. The leading brands in India have already started labelling Cotton USA to create differentiation in their product lines. India is amongst top 10 markets for U.S. cotton and has been growing every year.