Sourcing with SUPIMA®
By Marc Lewkowitz
Every two years, textile mills, spinners, merchants and agents converge to address the ever-changing business of U.S. cotton. Hosted by Cotton Council International, Cotton Incorporated and the U.S. cotton industry, the 2016 Sourcing USA Summit was held at the picturesque, Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA November 5–8.
SUPIMA preceded the opening the event, hosting a seminar and panel discussion that updated attendees on the current state of SUPIMA cotton. Covering a wide range of topics, SUPIMA® President and C.E.O. Marc Lewkowitz and VP of Marketing and Promotions, Buxton Midyette gave presentations ranging from the 2016 harvest to export prices to the marketing initiatives underway.
Mr. Lewkowitz focused on this year’s high-yield crop and the increase in global demand for SUPIMA cotton. Current projections for the American-grown, premium cotton show growth that hasn’t been seen in years. Add to that the fact that half of the 2016 crop has been sold, and forecasts are predicting a rise in SUPIMA cotton prices.
There are many factors that contributed to the rise in demand for our premium cotton. Mr. Midyette, called out several of these factors during his presentation. Relationships with long standing retail partners Brooks Brothers, Uniqlo and Land’s End continue to grow; Banana Republic, Levi Strauss, Macy’s and Target are new partners that are developing and growing their SUPIMA® portfolio; and just as meaningful, the next generation of millennial brands are using and promoting SUPIMA®.
Takeaways from both presentations were simple, the current state of SUPIMA’s cotton business is robust and the marketing initiatives underway continue to drive awareness of the premium cotton, as more and more premium brands are inquiring about SUPIMA cotton.
Attendees were also treated to a panel discussion moderated by Sourcing Journal’s Founder/Editor-in-Chief, Edward Hertzman. Hertzman, together with panelists Suzanne Lerner Co-Founder and President of Michael Stars, Umang Patodia, Managing Director of GTN Group and Marty Moran, C.E.O. of Buhler Quality Yarns, spoke to the premium characteristics of SUPIMA cotton and how to make SUPIMA® work for your business.
All in all, the 90 minute event gave the packed house a better understanding SUPIMA’s current and future initiatives put in place to support all aspects of the premium cotton’s supply chain.