Bulletin III - 2014

 

Kim Kitchings – Cotton Incorporated

 
 

Key Insights

  • Maximize activewear sales by providing apparel that clearly meets consumers need for continuous comfort.
  • Consumers show less concern about the cost of activewear, which may allow retailers more leeway to charge higher prices.
  • Athletic apparel with performance features like odor resistance and moisture management may help fortify customer loyalty.
  • In a market saturated with synthetic products, retailers could boost sales by offering more cotton performance activewear.

 

A revolution in the U.S. activewear market is being driven by the convergence of several consumer and retail trends. According to Cotton Incorporated’s 2014 Sports Apparel Survey, more than 9 in 10 consumers say they wear athleticwear for activities other than exercise. Increased consumer demand has prompted U.S athletic apparel sales to grow at double the rate of non-active apparel sales for several years. Strong sales growth has convinced mass merchants, fast-fashion retailers, and luxury brands to enter or increase offerings in this $33 billion dollar market¹, previously dominated by a smaller cadre of outdoor and sports apparel retailers and brands.

 

While price ranks as the third most important factor when shoppers purchase clothing in general, price is the sixth most important purchase driver among consumers buying active apparel. Less price sensitivity may allow retailers and brands to charge higher prices for active clothing items and reap the benefit of larger profit margins on these clothing items. The ability to sustain a thriving and lucrative activewear line that appeals to consumers will require attention to comfort, fashion, and performance.

 

Comfort matters

Regardless of demographics, exercise frequency/intensity, or sports activity, comfort (42%) is the top factor consumers like most about their favorite activewear item, followed by fit (16%), breathability (15%), and style (14%). In fact, 73% of consumers who have adopted the athleisure trend of wearing active apparel for purposes other than exercise say comfort is the reason. More consumers describe cotton activewear as the most comfortable (53%), when compared with active clothing made from synthetics like polyester (10%) and nylon (11%). Consumers report that the top reason they avoid polyester activewear is that it is uncomfortable (35%).

 

 
   
   
 
 
 

Cotton Incorporated’s Customer Comments Research™ study reveals that synthetic activewear is significantly more likely than cotton activewear to have customer complaints about irritation related to itching, scratching, and chaffing, as well as odor and durability issues like pilling and snagging. In contrast, consumers report issues with cotton activewear shrinking, fading, and stretching—all concerns that can be minimized during textiles processing and with clothing care education. Addressing customer reported issues about comfort, durability, and odor could play a significant role in bolstering stronger sales growth for activewear.

 

Lifestyle and fashion drivers

With competition intensifying as a result of additional retailers and brands offering athletic apparel lines, the development of targeted strategies to reach shoppers is vital for success. Some outdoor activewear retailers have started initiatives to engage with their customers around clothing care and sustainable manufacturing practices. Customer outreach efforts appeal to about 4 in 10 consumers, and these programs hold even more appeal for millennials. Millennials, who will account for one-third of total retail spending by 2020², say they are more likely than older generations to buy activewear from a store or brand that sponsors athletic events or group exercise (39% versus 28%) and provides opportunities to connect with other athletes through events or social media (34% versus 22%).

 

Fast-fashion and specialty retailers and brands’ emphasis on offering more fashionable athletic apparel may help further catapult sales in this clothing category. Comfortable and fashionable activewear should command more interests among the estimated 210 million Americans (67%) who participate in different sports or fitness activities and the 80 million non-active consumer group. Notably, non-active consumers spend similar amounts on activewear, when compared with active consumers ($33 and $37 on average per month, respectively). Significantly, both active and non-active consumers say that cotton activewear is the most fashionable (37%), compared with polyester activewear (12%) and nylon activewear (18%).

 

Performance safeguards

Attracting customers and earning their loyalty in the rapidly diversifying activewear market may require that retailers and brands seize opportunities to improve product performance. The majority of consumers (52%) say they are more likely to shop at a store offering athletic apparel that can be worn all day long. The ability of athletic apparel to integrate into a consumer’s daily routine depends on comfort and a variety of performance factors.

 

More than 6 in 10 consumers say they are very or somewhat likely to look for odor resistant, moisture management, stretch, and thermal regulation features in their athletic apparel. Shoppers may recognize that these features can help improve the comfort and fit of their active clothing.

 

More than 6 in 10 shoppers say that washing clean is very important in their decision to purchase athletic apparel. Among those who experience odor issues in activewear, lingering odors have caused 8 in 10 consumers to re-wash their activewear using the same or different methods. Re-washing garments costs customers time and money, can accelerate the degradation of performance technologies on clothing, and negatively impacts the environment. Cotton t-shirts have a demonstrated odor resistance advantage over polyester. A recent study revealed that washed polyester t-shirts had more than three times the amount of acids that contribute to underarm odor than cotton tees³. Retailers and brands offering cotton performance activewear can meet customer needs for everyday athletic apparel that does not hold odor, washes clean, and delivers on comfort and style.

 

About the Research

Cotton Incorporated’s Sports Apparel survey is a consumer study that tracks shoppers attitudes and behaviors about athletic apparel purchases. In the 2014 study, 1,500 consumers were surveyed, 50% male and 50% female, ages 13 to 70, and representative of the U.S. population based on ethnicity, income, education, and geography.

 

Additional Sources: Cotton Incorporated’s Lifestyle Monitor™ survey and Cotton Incorporated’s Customer Comments Research™ study.

 

External Sources: Sports & Fitness Industry Association¹, Accenture Plc², and The University of Alberta³

 

Top purchase drivers for activewear

% who say the following factors are very important in their decision to purchase athletic apparel:

 
 
 
 

Plant:

1351 Scarboro Highway
Sylvania, GA. 30467
Phone: (912) 863-4511
Web Site: www.Kamtexgroup.com

 

Sales and marketing

2845 W 48th Pl Chicago, IL 60632
Phone: ( 773) 523-8361
Fax:      (773) 579-4616
Web Site: www.Kamtexgroup.com

 

Contact name/number:

Mr. Bob Mazur
Sales and Marketing
Email: bmazur@kamtexgroup.com

 

Mr. Dan Baker
President
Email: dbaker@kamtexgroup.com

 

List of Senior Management:

Mr. Dan Baker, President
Mr. Mike Corbin, Vice President
Mr. Bob Mazur, Senior Account Executive

 

History of Company:

Founded in Chicago, Illinois in 1919, King America Textile Group is part of a privately owned group of textile companies which include Westex, Inc. and King America Finishing, Inc.

 
   
   

Products:

King America Textile Group produces cotton and blended cotton/polyester woven fabrics: The fabrics we produce can be up to 114” wide. Our narrow fabrics can weigh up to as much as 22oz per square yard.

 

The King America Textile Group services a wide variety of fabric markets that include men’s shirts and bottom weights , uniform market-both work and school, Home furnishings, culinary, soft sided luggage,and flag and banner. To learn more about the products we manufacture please visit our website www.kamtexgroup.com

 
 
 

Plant:

PO BOX 1787
Gastonia, NC 28053
Phone: 704) 874 5000
Email:sales@parkdalemills.com
Fax: (704) 874 5176
Web Site: www.parkdalemills.com

 

Contact name/number:

Mr. Charles Heilig

President
Phone: (704) 874-5000
Fax:     (704) 874-5176
Email: cheilig@parkdalemills.com

 

Mr. Dan Morrison

Vice President Sales & Major Accounts
Phone: (704) 874 5000 Ext. 5135
Fax:     (704) 874 5176
E-mail: dmorrison@parkdalemills.com

 

List of Senior Management:

Mr. W. Duke Kimbrell, Chairman of the Board
Mr. Anderson D. Warlick, Vice Chairman & CEO
Mr. Charles S. Heilig, President

 

History of Company:

Parkdale is proud to be one of the top sales yarn spinners in the world! We are the single largest consumer of USA grown cotton; using in excess of 25,000 bales of cotton each week. We have twenty seven manufacturing facilities in the US, one in Mexico, and one in Colombia. With speed to market extremely critical in today’s challenging environment, we have added distribution centers strategically located in Honduras, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic to support our customers. Reinvesting in the latest technologies is a backbone of our rich history. Parkdale was founded in 1916 and remains committed to being an industry leader.

 

As an industry leader we constantly investing in the latest technologies. Parkdale recently invested over $60 million USD in a 100% cotton Open End facility that has been referenced as the most efficient spinning plant in the World. Today we are currently investing over $90 million USD in a cotton / polyester blend facility that will be equally impressive and have extensive flexibility. These investments demonstrate our commitment in the latest technologies to keep our customers competitive in the global market.

 
   
   

Parkdale manufactures fine yarns using open end spinning, ring spinning, air jet and vortex spinning technologies for the knit, woven, hosiery, and industrial end uses. We produce 100% cotton, 100% polyester, cotton / polyester blends, heather blends, and tri-blend yarns. We have expanded to include many specialty fibers such as rayon, modal, acrylics, and FR rated fibers as well. We produce organic cotton and RPET polyester yarns as well and are certified by Oregon Tilth to meet the GOTS requirements. In open end yarns we offer a style spun “soft OE” yarn. Slub yarns in open end spinning and ring spinning as well as the latest negative slub effect in ring spinning.

 

In Colombia, Parkdale operates an open end spinning and ring spun facility in the Rio Negro area. This facility opened in 2005 and has quickly gained an excellent reputation for supplying quality spun yarns. We have the ability to offer 100% cotton on open end spinning, 100% combed cotton on ring spinning, and a variety of specialty yarns as well. These include cotton heathers, slubs and negative slubs, and other novelty yarns as well. With the importance of speed to market, specialty development, and quality being key to our industry, Parkdale is excited about the opportunity to meet your needs.

 

Products:

  • 100% cotton ring spun yarns, 6/1-40/1 Ne, combed & carded
  • 50/50 & 60/40 cvc ring spun yarns, 12/1-40/1 Ne, combed & carded
  • 100% cotton open-end and soft spun yarns, 6/1-30/1 carded & combed
  • 50/50 & 60/40 cvc open end yarns, 7/1 – 36/1 carded
  • Air Jet yarns, 12/1-40/1 Ne, carded cotton & 100% polyester
  • Heathers, 5/1-30/1 Ne, combed and carded OE & RS
  • Evergreen® yarns, open-end, 5/1-20/1 Ne
  • Organic cotton yarns, 6/1-30/1 Ne,
    OE & RS
  • Slub Yarns and Tri-blend Yarns
  • Specialty fibers including modal, rayon, acrylic, and many others upon request.

 

End Uses:

  • Knitting yarns
  • Weaving yarns
  • Hoisery yarns
  • Industrial Yarns
  • Specialty Yarns
 
 
 

Plant:

13800 S. Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90061
Phone: (310) 807-4421
Fax:      (310) 515-1333
Web Site: www.swisstexdirect.com

 

Contact name/number:

Michelle Reyes
Phone: (310) 807-4421
Fax:      (310) 515-1333
E-Mail: michelle@swisstexdirect.com

 

List of Senior Management:

Mr. Keith Dartley, President

 

History of Company:

Swisstex Direct, LLC, provides the global apparel manufacturing community with a total fabric solution for circular knitted fabrics. With innovative design and product development combined with the highest quality knitting, dyeing and finishing applications, we provide our customers with beneficial options and flexibility at our Los Angeles and El Salvador facilities.

 

Founded in 2005, Swisstex Direct provides a completely vertical solution with competitive pricing, backed by renowned quality, reliability, quick turn around and responsive customer service. As one of the world’s most technologically advanced dye and finishing facilities, the Swisstex group provides a one‐stop textile solution.

 

Swisstex firmly believes in the recycling, reuse of all materials possible. You will not find the use of any carriers for polyester dyeing or any resins of Formaldehydes that would be used for shrinkage control. Our commitment to operating a low impact facility leads us to alternative finishing procedures in order to avoid that use of extremely harsh chemicals that are harmful to humans or the environment.

 
   
   

At Swisstex, we adhere to a green corporate philosophy, with a full range of earth-friendly production and business practices that reduce waste and save natural resources. We pass the eco-advantage to our clients, in the knowledge that their fabrics were produced to a higher standard of efficiency.

 

We are continuously searching for ways to minimize our environmental footprint. As a result, we consume half the energy in our facility as the typical dyeing facility in the United States – with even greater savings over comparable facilities worldwide – measured in resources consumed per pound of fabric dyed.

 

Swisstex is a bluesign® partner. The basic idea behind the bluesign® standard is to combine aspects of consumer safety, water and air emissions as well as occupational health in a single standard under the general objective of resource productivity. With its practical and solution-oriented approach, the bluesign® standard creates transparency along the whole textile production chain without compromising functionality, quality or design.

 

Products:

  • Knit (jersey, rib, flatback rib, French terry, loop terry, thermal, fleece, interlock, sweater knit, pointelle, pique, mesh, ponti, guaze, jacquard, piece dyed stripes)
  • Basics (cotton, poly/cotton, polyester, cotton/spandex, rayon)
    • Premium Fibers (Supima ® Cotton, Micro Modal ®)
  • Synthetic Performance Fibers
  • Specialty Applications (wicking, dri-Release ®, UV Resistance, antimicrobial)
  • Novelty Yarns (slub, mock Twist, linen, tri-Blend)
 
 
 

Plant:

8760 East Franklin Street
P.O. Box 218
Mt. Pleasant, NC 28124
Phone: (704) 436-6527
Fax:      (704) 436-9461
Web site: www.tuscarorayarns.com

 

Contact name/number:

Mr. David Roberts
Chief Executive Officer
Phone: (704) 436-6527
Fax:     (704) 436-9461
E-Mail: droberts@tuscarorayarns.com

 

Mr. Andy Long
Vice President of Sales & Marketing
Phone: (704) 436-6527
Fax:     (704) 436-9461
E-Mail: along@tuscarorayarns.com

 

List of Senior Management:

Mr. Martin B. Foil, Chairman Emeritus
Mr. David Roberts, Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Andy Long, Vice President of Sales & Marketing
Mr. Doug Merritt, Vice President of Manufacturing
Mr. Joe McLester, Vice President of Sales Administration
Mr. Phil Absher, Vice President of Human Resources

 

History of Company:

Tuscarora Yarns has been a reliable spun yarn source for the apparel and textile industry since 1899. Over the past 100 years the company has grown to be the largest manufacturer in the United States of cotton heather, mélange, novelty and custom-blended yarns. Both ring spun and open-end equipment are utilized to produce a very eclectic line of spun yarns with unsurpassed quality.

 

In May of 2009, Tuscarora acquired CloverTex, LLC, a producer of premium, ring-spun yarn. The combined companies operate under the Tuscarora name, and the owner of CloverTex, David Roberts, now serves as the COO of Tuscarora.

 

Tuscarora Yarns' motto is "Spinning the Products of Imagination". Through the experience of its creative work force and state of the art technology, Tuscarora Yarns strives to transform customers' ideas into profitable realities. Unmatched color creation and matching begin in a unique R&D facility that is set up with a mini-manufacturing center, enabling it to develop customer color submits in a matter of minutes. Orders are processed with a just-in-time attitude while maintaining the highest quality standards.

 

Tuscarora Yarns works with a wide range of fibers to produce heathers, sophisticated mélanges, mock twists, solids and other specialty yarns. This list of fibers includes, but is not limited to, cotton, polyester, acrylic, rayon, Modal, Tencel, flax, wool and silk. Many of these can be spun in their 100% form or can be blended with one another. Yarns are offered in carded, semi-combed and "Five Star Brand" fully combed qualities. The general count range is from 4/1 to 40/1 utilizing both ring spun and open-end spinning. Plied yarns are available in the full count range and in both spinning types. Slub yarns and nub yarns are also available. Tuscarora offers package-dyed yarns, air jet spun yarns, and technical fiber yarns through partner companies.

 
   
   

Through Tuscarora's international sales and marketing organization, business can be efficiently handled on a global scale. Tuscarora's bilingual staff has received extensive education in international sales and documentation in preparation for handling all aspects of international trade.

 

Products:

  • 100% Cotton Heather and Melange Yarn, Ring Spun and Open End, 4-40 Ne.
  • Cotton and Polyester Blended Heather Yarns, Ring Spun and Open End, 4-40 Ne.
  • Cotton and Rayon Blended Heather Yarns including Modal and Tencel, Ring Spun and Open End, 4-40 Ne.
  • Cotton and Acrylic Blended Heather Yarns, Ring Spun and Open End, 4-40 Ne.
  • 100% Polyester Heathers, Ring Spun and Open End, 4-40 Ne.
  • 100% Rayon Heathers, Ring Spun and Open End, 4-40 Ne.
  • Mock Twist Yarns, 100% Cotton, Acrylic, Polyester, Rayon and Blends, Ring Spun, 6-30 Ne.
  • Mock Twist for Piece Dye, Natural Cotton/Polyester and natural Cotton/Solution
  • Dyed Color, Ring Spun, 6-30 Ne.
  • 100% Solution Dyed Acrylic Sunblock® Yarns, Open End 4-24 Ne.
  • Recycled yarns for multiple end uses.
  • Specialty blends with Flax or Wool, Ring spun.
  • 100% Cotton Solid Color Yarn

 

Products of Special Interests

  • Original Vintage Streaky Triblend Yarn
  • "Excite" Multi-Colored Sophisticated Melange Yarn
  • Retrospun Heather Yarn
  • "Shantung", a Polyester/Cotton blend striated natural yarn that becomes a colored slub/nub yarn when dyed
  • Recycled Polyester Yarn.
  • ProTura – modified cotton or flax with unique dye capabilities

 

End Uses:

  • Knit and Woven Apparel
  • Home Fashions
  • Upholstery
  • Industrial Fabrics
 
 
 

Plant:

1017 Saint John Street
Lafayette, LA 70501
Phone: (337) 261-0701
Fax:     (337) 261-0732

 

Contact name/number:

Mr. Steve Johnston
Director of Marketing
Office: (337) 281-9871
Fax:    (850) 213-0006
E-Mail: sjohnston@zagisusa.com

 

Mr. Don Cassell
Director of Sales
Office: (865) 805-0443
Fax:    (865) 540-4087
E-Mail: dcassell@zagisusa.com

 

List of Senior Management:

Mr. Daniel Feibus, President and CEO
Mr. Dan Thompson, Vice President of Operations

 

History of Company:

Zagis was founded in Mexico in 1980 and today is the leader in natural and synthetic textile fiber spinning in Latin America. Since its foundation as a family company, Zagis has been managed with clear objectives – to maintain a professional level and a high quality product through the use of the latest technology.  Continuing its commitment to these objectives, Zagis USA was formed in Louisiana in 2007 to build the most modern open end spinning plant in the world. The first plant started at full production in 2009 producing the highest quality 100% cotton open end yarn incorporating only state-of-the-art technology.

 
   
   

Transportation time and costs, critical factors in the supply chain, were an integral part of Zagis’ decision to build its plant in Louisiana. Zagis USA is located near the heart of the cotton belt. Located on Interstate 10, this location has the closest proximity to several major ports along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

 

Zagis USA has assembled an experience team to compliment its capital investment and ensure that its customers will be provided with unsurpassed quality and service.

 

Products:

  • 100% cotton open end spun yarns

 

End Uses:

  • Circular Knits
  • Hosiery
  • Weaving
  • Industrial
  • Medical
 
 
 

U.S. and World Cotton Economic Outlook

December 2014

Prepared by:
Economic Services - National Cotton Council

 

August 1 marks the beginning of the new crop year with regards to USDA’s statistical reporting.  The new U.S. crop, estimated currently at 15.92 million bales, 3.02 million bales more than the previous year. U.S. offtake is expected to be 13.8 million bales, which will increase stocks to 4.6 million bales – a 33.3% stocks to use ratio.  USDA has estimated supply and demand forecast for both the U.S. and the world for the 2014-15 crop year.  It is compared with the previous year’s crop in the tables below.

U.S. Cotton Fiber Supply/Demand

 
 
 
 
 
Antex Knitting Buhler Quality Yarns Corp.Cap Yarns, Inc.Carolina Cotton Works, Inc. - CCWCentral Textiles/Cotswold IndustriesContempora FabricsFrontier Spinning Mills, Inc.Hamrick Mills, Inc.Keer America CorporationMilliken & CompanyParkdaleSwisstex DirectZagis USA