What is your overview for the export and import scenario of Pima cotton, worldwide?
Exports of American Pima cotton continue to be very important to the American Pima industry as approximately 95 percent of the U.S. production is exported annually. Majority of exports continue to go to six-seven countries and that will probably continue. There may be some movement among the larger global consumers of ELS cotton. However, the concentration of consumption will probably remain with a smaller focused group of consumers.
What is your observation for market trend and demand of Pima cotton apparels and where?
Whether it is food or fashion, consumer are paying more attention to quality and where products come from. This is a very strong trend for Pima because we have such a compelling story to tell. Besides, two major apparel markets for Pima cotton are men's shirting and women's premium knits. Pima's inherent strength makes it ideal for men's dress shirts. It is able to withstand the rigors of the non-iron treatments, which can be very damaging to fabric integrity.
On the other hand, Pima softness is driving demand in the women's knit area. It is often compared with silk and cashmere because of its distinctive hand. Superior dye absorption by Pima's fine fibers produces brilliant colors, which are very popular with knits.
How do you see the demand of Pima cotton, globally and in which regions its demand is mushrooming?
Historically, the greatest consumer demand for Pima cotton has been in the U.S. market. Demand there for both apparel and home fashion remains steady. However, in the past decade, we have seen strong and growing demand for Pima cotton products in Europe; specifically in the U.K. Supima licensed retailers such as Marks & Spencer, House of Frasier and John Lewis have developed substantial Supima product offerings.
In Asia, Uniqlo has been responsible for an explosion in Pima demand. There are over 900 stores, which offer consumer Pima apparel throughout the year. It is exciting to see the awareness and demand for Pima grow.
What is your outlook for Supima, in context to enter into the retail segment? Are there any plans ahead to it?
Involvement in the retail segment is a top priority for us. There is nothing more important than getting our product in front of consumers. It is the only way for them to truly understand Supima's benefits.
Supima accomplishes this through a various activities. Our partnership with Brooks Brothers is a good example. Every spring for the past three years Brooks produces our collection that goes out in catalog form to 500,000 customers. Further, collection is also sold in all of their retail outlets. Moreover, it has been a high profile and very successful collaboration.
Besides, it also sells a men's contemporary knit collection under its own name exclusively at Bloomingdales stores across the U.S. It is a first for any fiber to be sold under it's own brand and it is fortunate to have such a prestigious partner like Bloomingdale's.
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