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Responsible innovation is agenda today, focus tomorrow
Varvaressos SA European Spinning Mills is a Greece-based company engaged in the production and trade of cotton and special yarns. The company's product portfolio includes cotton yarns, cellulose fibres, blended yarns, multi-ply yarns and yarns on dyeing tubes, as well as packaging products, such as carton boxes and cardboard layers. CEO ARGIRIOS SARRIDIS talks to Hiral Oza about the company's GMO-free smart cotton and why responsible supply chain is the need of the hour.
Tell us in brief about the Supreme Green Cotton (SGC) collection. Where is the cotton grown?
Supreme Green Cotton (SGC) by Varvaressos is the new premium cotton yarn collection which is water-saving, GMO-free and 100 per cent traceable. This was unveiled during Première Vision Paris and Filo fair in Milan. It is a new generation of smart cotton, born from an innovative and socially responsible system granting sustainability from the cotton seed to the garment while supporting farmers and businesses. It is a unique collection that matches the highest European and international standards, without compromising on quality. The collection meets the requirements for high-end garments, thanks to excellent uniformity, superior strength, contamination-free and long-staple eco-fibres.
What is the market size for cotton and blended yarns in Europe?
According to a Euratex report, the total yarn production in the European Union was €8.6 billion in 2018. That year, the amount of land that grew cotton was 273.000 hectare and the total production was 215.000 MT that represents 0.8 per cent share of global cotton production. Greece's most important areas for cotton production are Larissa and Karditsa.
Which industries make the use of cotton and blended yarns? What are the latest applications?
Cotton is an extremely versatile fibre. Varvaressos's product portfolio includes primarily cotton yarns and cellulosic fibres blended yarns. Since the beginning, the strategy of the company was to go for a traceable, innovative and responsible supply chain while reaching the highest levels of quality, thus meeting the requests of an increasingly demanding conscious consumer.
To which markets do you supply this yarn?
The launch of our SGC collection is recent; we are getting a good response from the market, but it requires more time to gather the kind of data required.
What amount of cotton yarn is made from organic cotton at Varvaressos?
Varvaressos strategically decided to focus on the unique SGC, Supima extra long staple cotton and Pima extra long staple cotton.
What kind of R&D are you doing now? Will you be moving into other yarns?
Today we are strongly investing in our SGC collection in order to offer the highest quality and finer yarn counts (important to highlight: SGC already offers excellent yarn uniformity, superior strength, contamination free and long staple) and full traceability. Responsible innovation is the agenda today and will be the focus for future.
Which types of yarns are in great demand in Europe? Which are the countries you export to?
As producers, we are experiencing a growing demand for responsible solutions. We recently launched our SGC at Première Vision Paris, being selected to exhibit within the Smart Creation area-an informative, educational, visionary and multimedia space where exhibitors, designers, buyers and fashion brands can experience and truly visualise the progress the industry is making in terms of responsibility. We were amazed in experiencing a huge demand from both world-known and emerging brands. Responsibility is a hot topic today.
What are the latest innovations taking place in this industry?
The industry is trying to rapidly adapt to the needs of the market-and of the consumers-who are more conscious and willing to spend on sustainable products. Varvaressos developed a water saving yarn range thanks to a pioneering satellite-powered drip irrigation system using Israeli technologies and expertise in water management. We think that reducing water consumption is a crucial aspect.
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