Ahmedabad: After the Woolmark certification for quality wool consumption in India, it is now the turn of cotton to go quality-conscious with the adoption of the 'Seal of Cotton' trademark by leading domestic textile companies.
The certification has been brought to India by the Cotton Gold Alliance (CGA) partnership, founded by the Cotton Council International (CCI) and the Cotton Inc in the US. This is the first time that the Seal of Cotton is being made available for promotions outside North America.
CGA has announced the signing of three leading cotton and textile companies from India as the first signatories, which will bring the Seal of Cotton trademark to Indian consumers. Apart from the Ahmedabad-based Ashima Textiles, the other two companies are Patspin India (GTN group) and Vardhman Spinning and General Mills.
Says CCI president William B Dunavant, III: ''Cotton plays an important role in contemporary Indian life and is, in many ways, the true fabric of India. Our close working relationships with the Indian textile industry over the last several years have paved the way for the launch of the CGA programme, which will represent a new paradigm in cotton promotion in India. This trust-mark will identify the highest quality 100-per cent cotton apparel and home furnishings products.''
CGA expects to build on the momentum as more textile and apparel companies, brands and retailers join in this effort to promote cotton fibre in India in the coming months. ''The Seal of Cotton will indeed be the catalyst that will prompt increased demand for cotton to the benefit of the entire global cotton industry. We believe that the Indian consumer will also benefit significantly from this alliance,'' says Dunavant.
Says Cotton Inc senior vice-president (global product marketing) Dean B Turner: ''Cotton has historically dominated other fibres in India, and Indian consumers have shown a strong preference for cotton. After over three decades of successful cotton demand building in the US, Cotton Inc is now launching use of the Seal of Cotton to companies in India.''
The Seal of Cotton is an internationally recognised trademark that will bear testimony to the high standards and the superior quality of 100-per cent cotton products in India. CGA aims to increase consumer awareness, appreciation and preference to build demand for cotton, thereby boosting the sales of cotton products from qualified participating Indian firms.
The long-term goal in the Indian market for the CGA programme is to increase the demand for cotton among Indian consumers. CGA will also ensure that alliance partners are recognised as market leaders for their high-quality cotton textile products. CGA members will be encouraged to utilise the Seal of Cotton (owned and to be licensed by Cotton Inc) in their own promotional and advertising efforts.
Promotion of the cotton seal in the US since 1973 has resulted in reviving the demand for the natural fabric from below 30 per cent to the current 60 per cent. Cotton promoters estimate that every 1-per cent increase in the market-share will generate annual revenues of $40 billion for the industry, with the benefits trickling right down to the farmers.