Look Forward to More Cotton in Your Clothing
Cotton Incorporated released their latest Lifestyle Monitor on July 12, 2012, and it gave some interesting insight regarding the use of cotton in apparel over the last year, and what consumers think about it.
For all the details of the survey, visit Cotton Incorporated’s website. I read the survey and found the following information very enlightening:
Due to the increase in cotton prices last March, US manufacturers reduced their consumption of cotton by 13% over the past year. This reduction was mainly due to cotton being substituted for synthetic fibers.
Over the same period, foreign manufacturers reduced their consumption of cotton by 7.4%.
Most consumers (54%) say they have noticed there is less cotton in their clothing over the past year. I find this to be a high number, and it tells me that consumers are paying close attention to what they are buying (most probably due to the Great Recession).
41% of consumers have noticed a decrease in apparel quality over the past year.
While cotton prices are 50% less than a year ago due to increased supply and the decreased demand mentioned earlier, consumers are also buying less apparel due to the uncertain economy.
The good news for cotton in all this is that 62% of apparel shoppers feel that cotton apparel is generally higher quality that synthetic, and that most consumers would pay more to keep cotton in their jeans and T-shirts.
The findings of this survey mimic what I see across the industry. From apparel decorators embellishing T-shirts to fashion labels designing high-dollar denim, the properties of cotton make it very desirable for many categories of apparel, and consumers are willing to pay more for it.
We have just seen that no matter how high the price of cotton goes, it seems there are a few key apparel categories (such as jeans and T-shirts) that will always need high cotton content to satisfy consumers.
For more information on the survey, visit Cotton Incorporated’s website.