Participants who attended a COTTON USA™ Sustainability Sourcing Fair in June of 2023 expect to purchase an additional $262 million worth of U.S. cotton rich products over the next two years. The two Sustainability Sourcing Fairs, one hosted in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and the second hosted in Cancun, Mexico were funded by the Market Access Program (MAP), the Foreign Market Development Fund (FMD), and U.S. cotton industry contributions.
Over 330 participants, representing yarn, fabric, and garment manufacturers, as well as brands and retailers, attended one of the two COTTON USA™ Sustainability Sourcing Fairs. Connecting buyers and sellers is a crucial part of Cotton Council International’s (CCI) supply-push, demand-pull strategy for moving U.S. cotton through the global supply chain. In recent decades, globalization has helped break down regional barriers, which in turn has increased the number of sourcing possibilities. But, while this new landscape presents opportunities, many companies, regardless of what segment of the supply chain they occupy, simply do not have the time or resources to fully investigate the breadth of buying and selling options that are now available to them. Leveraging their expertise and relationships in key markets, CCI helps bridge this knowledge gap and build connections between buyers and sellers and in doing so, promotes the value of U.S. cotton to textile and retail companies around the world through activities such as sourcing fairs.
Over 4,000 pre-arranged meetings were scheduled between buyers and sellers at the two Sourcing Fairs. After attending, 99% of participants were satisfied with the Sourcing Fairs overall and 100% are likely to recommend future sourcing fairs to their colleagues. As a result of attending, 92% of participants said they are likely to purchase U.S. cotton-rich products in the future.
For brands and retailers, finding potential sourcing partners is not enough. With the growing need to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and responsibility, finding qualified suppliers is more important than ever. For the first time, the COTTON USA™ Sourcing Fairs were exclusive to U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol® manufacturer members only. The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol® is the leading standard in sustainable cotton production and the world’s first sustainable cotton fiber program to offer article-level supply chain traceability. Built on a foundation of robust data capture, aggregation and reporting, the Protocol drives continuous improvement in key sustainability metrics and offers access to full supply chain transparency for brand and retailer members using U.S. cotton in their products. COTTON USA™ Sustainability Sourcing fairs are unique opportunities for brands and retailers to connect with new suppliers who share a common objective of creating a more sustainable and responsible textile and apparel industry while demonstrating how U.S. cotton is a key ingredient in achieving this goal.