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Cotton is fashionable

Feb '07
Consumers worldwide are increasing their spending on apparel while continuing to show a strong preference for natural fibers, according to the latest Global Lifestyle Monitor (GLM) survey, conducted by Cotton Incorporated and Cotton Council International.

Not only do consumers worldwide love cotton, but they are willing to pay more for natural fibers such as cotton, which they associate with high quality, chose to wear the most, and deem the best fiber for today's fashion.

The Global Lifestyle Monitor, a biennial consumer research study that gauges consumer attitudes and shopping habits to understand why they shop, where they shop, and what motivates them to buy clothing, was conducted for the fourth time in 2006. This survey included nine countries: Brazil, Colombia, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, India, China, Japan and Thailand, which was new to the study this year.

Deciding Factors for Apparel Purchase
Among the most important attributes in purchasing a garment is quality; nine out of ten consumers say that knowing a garment's quality is one of the most important considerations before buying. And consumers worldwide closely associate quality with fiber content.

Like U.S. consumers, global consumers (52%) also considered natural fibers such as cotton to be of higher quality than synthetic fibers. And when asked if they would pay more for better quality, 67% of global consumers agreed.

Checking the Label
Nearly half of Global consumers always or usually check the fiber content label before purchasing apparel. When asked what information is important when purchasing apparel, 77% of global consumers noted fiber and over half (51%) said that cotton was the best fiber for today's fashions. Furthermore, 60% of global consumers said they wore more cotton than any other fiber, indicating that cotton is a staple fiber in consumers' closets worldwide.

Natural fibers are most important in India (74.4%), Italy (68.3%) and China (65.3%), three countries where the majority of consumers say they always or usually check fiber content labels.

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