Slide 1 - Welcoming remarks Thank CCI for the opportunity to share and grow in this very important movement The UNEP (United Nations Environmental Program) defines sustainability as “Consumption that contributes to individual well being, and promotes the economic, environmental, and social goals of society”. This does not necessarily mean consuming less, but to consume differently and more efficiently, while promoting an improved quality of life for the benefit of all. So, if we are to make products which are more economical and less wasteful, I believe we need to pay more attention to the small details which can have a great impact on the apparel product itself – Fiber. What I want to convey in this presentation is that if we truly want to reduce waste, maximize the use of land for cotton production, then we must work together even more closely at every stage in the supply chain. This will pay big dividends in the end for the consumer, the retailer/brand, and supply chain.
Slide 2 – Typical Supply ChainGuide the audience through the connections or lack of.Cost/Price are driven by marketWhat are the results??This may be a more typical chain which pricing and quality is driven by price. The farmers sells his cotton to a broker with little communication with the spinner. The spinner buys his cotton based on fibers specs which best meets his spinning systems, count ranges, planned raw material yields, and quality expected in the market place. Price pressure is the main reason the textile suppliers only produce a quality which is acceptable, NO MORE. What a shame; so much quality improvements can be made with very little cost increases and the impact on the quality of the garment could be significant, including the longevity of the garment.
Slide 3 – Focused Supply ChainGuide the audience through the connections.Knowing the goals price/quality makes it easier to achieveBut this relationship needs trust and communicationWhat are the results??To be more effective and to meet your goals of being sustainable, communications links to all the supply chain participants must be established. I know that constant communication with all members can be very time consuming and costly. But, establishing goals and guidelines from fiber forward can assure that the fabric will perform at its optimum level is essential to meeting everyone’s goal of selling a garment at a sustainable price and made with sustainable practices.
Slide 4 – Yield better apparelMy experiences in different systemsFiber has a key impact on quality and price/costFiber cost is the largest component.The new modern systems, energy is the second largestThere is no doubt that better fiber improves the quality of yarn in every system But under typical market fragmented supply chains, quality is based on the price the market is willing to payMy career has mostly been in yarn spinning. I have experienced from both a manufacturing and industrial engineering standpoint. In those days, the textiles industry was operating in a protected mode from foreign competition. What strikes me looking back is that we actually tried to make the best yarn quality in all aspects and show continuous improvements over time. There was a lot of pride in what we did. Now, we see that quality is only measured as “Good enough” for the price point needed. Price became the determining factor in getting an order or not.
Slide 5 – Is cotton just cotton?Allow me to demonstrate the role of cotton Talk about my experience at Swift SpinningIdea was to make a better yarn but at a competitive priceThe yarn properties were all much improvedBut in the end we could not compete in a sales yarn market with better qualityNow I look at this differently. I ask myself if we could communicate this to the retailer/brand, would they opt to pay slightly more for a improved garment?I remember a particular project I had with a major spinner in the USA. Our goal was to improve quality and productivity by adding higher quality fiber to our blend. By higher quality fiber, I mean longer, stronger and finer. The idea was that by improving our cotton yield (less waste) and increasing our yarn strength to improve run ability, we could potentially save money and offer an better yarn. But, we could not recoup the increase cotton cost through increased productivity. The net result was an overall cost increase of around 8-10 cents per pound. As a sales yarn spinner, you could not survive as a high cost spinner with the best quality.Now, because I am so activity involved in direct to retail/brand marketing and work up and down the supply chain, I question that if the retailer brand knew that the improved yarn qualities would cost less than 10 cents per garment, would they have accepted the slight increase for improved apparel performance? This is assuming that the other supply chain members need not change their pricing.
Slide 6 – Let’s look a scenarioExplain the table In a commodity yarn market, it does not pay to make a better yarn. But, now you the retailer could make that decision yourself by close collaboration with your supply chain spinner. Your decision together can give you better fabric quality and consistency over the long term and not ship one or two shipments. Variables used:Cotton 1 0.55 0.55 %Cotton 1 100% 50% Cotton 2 .00 0.68 %Cotton 2 0% 50% Average Cost $0.55 $0.62We see that by riching the blend with finer and stronger fibers, we would incur a 6 cents per pound cost increase. Under normal market conditions, this is not acceptable. But, theoretically we have made significant improvements in yarn strength, IPI’s, SFC, lower twist, and the list goes on. Should not the retailer/brand have that opportunity to reject the cost increase. In garment form, the increase would be actually less than 6 cents per garment. The improved yarn parameters would be expected to reduced fiber and yarn related failures. This exercise needs to be done with all spinning system types to determine the final impact of fiber selection on fabric. The current mix maybe passing all the fabric standards; but is that Good Enough?You must also consider the consistency of fiber procurement and fiber properties variations from crop to crop, fiber varieties, and region to region. These variables will explain the consistency of your fabric and garment performances.
Slide 7 -Key fiber properties to considerSFC Micronaire Strength Length Each one has an effect on yarn strength, yarn twist, fabric hand, fabric sheen, fabric torque, mullen strength, fabric pilling, dye uptake, and moreLETS LEARN ENOUGN INFO TO ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS…. The fiber properties where spinners look at to make the biggest impact in performance are – SFC, Micronaire, Strength, and Length.The fiber selection should be specific for the spinning technology, yarn count, and end product. Since fiber cost is the most significant cost component of spinning, the tendency to reduce cost by means of utilizing cheaper cotton in the mix is high.From STATISTICS, show the range of length, strength, and micronaire. Short Fiber Content should be controlled by means of waste extraction. The more SFC in present in the yarn, the more imperfections and yarn hairiness is present. It also contributes to yarn strength.
Slide 8 – FQILet’s learn some rules for which to discuss with your spinner This table came from Dr. El-Mogahzy of Auburn UniversityThe next set of slides is only to serve as guidelines for discussion. There is a wealth of information from textile universities and even Uster. Com.
Slide 9 – FQIExplain the graphs The separation is the transition from Short Staple to LS and ELS
Uster.com graphs - Where can we get additional information?All this information is great to figure out who to compare to other yarns in the market. But, the final decision should be left up to your test and appareance. Understanding and benchmarking fiber – yarn- fabric performance to this data will help in predicting performance in fabric.
Slide 14 – Better land utilizationWhat if we made certain assumptions about garment failures? We know garment are disposed for various reason; but if we just analyze the fiber related reasons, the results are still quite eye opening.
Slide 15 – Category 339, Women’s Cotton Knit Tops for USA imports233,343,056 dozens 2,800,116,672 units
Slide 16 – Hectares not effectively utilizedThese are not exact values for I can only make some assumptions, but this can be analyzed with accuracy give time Image the energy, water, chemicals, etc.. used all the way up the chain. This is a big number. I challenge you to find that number and look for ways to minimize the impact. Let’s make some assumptions. I’ll leave the true engineering values to the Engineers which can source the data. The you must take into account, the energy used from the seed to the sale of the garment. This is a big value when garments do not perform.
Slide 17 – ConclusionsWhen offering consumers cotton products which you want to implement sustainable practices, you must establish relationships from fiber forward.We must work with our suppliers to improve quality and share the true cost with retailers. Allow retailers the opportunity to accept or deny the impact on the final product price. Often times correct cost are not calculated because we do not assume efficiency gains along the supply chain. But, we know that every weaving, knitting, cutter, and sewing operator recognizes good quality fabric. Therefore, the factors used for risk and waste are over exaggerated. As a supplier, knowing that we play a major role in the success of the final product, we must continuously improve the process and increase the value the final consumer is receiving. We must communicate to the final consumer the value which he has purchased.
What is the impact of better garments in land utilization?<br />
Let’s just use one category as an example..<br />From http://otexa.ita.doc.gov/msr/cat339.htm<br />
2008 Women’s Cotton Knit Tops 2008 Category 339<br /> 2,800,116,672 Total Units<br /> 0.5 Cotton Kilos/Garment<br /> 1,400,058,336 Kilos of Cotton Fiber in garment<br /> 1.50 Fiber to Garment <br /> 2,100,087,504 Cotton Fiber Kilos required <br /> 1,681 Kilos per Hectare <br /> 1,249,612 Hectares Required <br /> 4% Failure due to Fiber/Yarn <br />AND THIS IS JUST ONE CATEGORY AND ONE COUNTRY!!!!<br />49,984 Hectares not effectively utilized<br />
Conclusions<br />When offering consumers cotton products which you want to implement sustainable practices, you must establish relationships from fiber forward.<br />We must work with our suppliers to improve quality and share the true cost with retailers. Allow retailers the opportunity to accept or deny the impact on the final product price.<br />Often times correct cost are not calculated because we do not assume efficiency gains along the supply chain. But, we know that every weaving, knitting, cutter, and sewing operator recognizes good quality fabric. Therefore, the factors used for risk and waste are over exaggerated.<br />As a supplier, knowing that we play a major role in the success of the final product, we must continuously improve the process and increase the value the final consumer is receiving.<br />We must communicate to the final consumer the value which he has purchased.<br />