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Transparency in ELS Cotton

Authentication of a cotton's provenance has been a hot topic in recent days as revelations have spawned reviews by retail and manufacturers to ensure compliance.

Marc LewkowitzMarc Lewkowitz
Supima has taken verification standards seriously since their inception including supply chain consumption reporting through a documentary process coupled with DNA testing along the supply chain. Supima has an organizational commitment to continuing to enhance the verification process that includes almost 10 years of history in the use of DNA testing to test and validate products throughout the supply chain.

The Supima licensing process of the entire supply chain from the spinning mills, manufacturers, brands and retailers works to ensure compliance with the terms of the licensing agreement. Licensees are required to purchase input materials scheduled to utilize the SUPIMA® trademark through a licensed supply chain. The requirements are strict and Supima is vigilant about ensuring that they are adhered to for home textiles brands using Supima .

Various types of recognized premium cottons are grown around the world: American Pima, Egyptian Giza, Peruvian Pima and Sea Island, among them. American Pima is the largest exported premium cotton supply in the world, providing for the most stable supply of premium cotton for the global textile industry. American Pima has a broad distribution among the world’s textile manufacturers for both home and apparel. China has been the largest importer of American Pima in recent years, but India, Pakistan, Turkey, Peru and Egypt have all increased their imports.

The USDA's Pima Improvement Project has been responsible for the significant advances in Pima development laying the foundation for the development of the top quality American Pima varieties over the last 50 years. An ongoing and extensive breeding program continues to produce new varieties that result in continued improvements over their predecessors in fiber characteristics.

The search for flawless fiber authentication is ongoing. For now, there is no single, fool-proof system for verification and only best practices with better efforts by those in the supply chain that can impact current processes. Yet the commitment to a solution continues.

“Supima stands ready to collaborate with its partners to support a variety of verification solutions,” said Marc Lewkowitz, president and chief executive officer.

For more details, see Supima at

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Over 370-fine count textile mills, manufacturers and brands/retailers from around the world are licensed to use the Supima brand; licenses are given only to select, high-quality textile mills, apparel and textile manufacturers, and brands/retailers whose products are made of American Pima cotton.

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