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Consumers to manufacturers: ‘Don’t mess with our blue jeans’

NEW YORK—A cotton industry movement protesting the use of non-cotton fabrics in blue jeans and other garments has prompted consumers to share their clothing-related blues online.

Posts to have included complaints about pilling, odor, fading, static cling, shrinking and loss of shape.

“Today’s consumers are angry, and we are capitalizing on it,” said Ric Hendee, senior vice president for consumer marketing for Cotton Incorporated.

After noticing negative comments on clothing brands’ websites in recent years, the organization determined that many of the complaints were related to cotton being replaced with polyester and other fibers after cotton prices reached historically high levels in 2010 and 2011. Cotton Incorporated launched a campaign titled Cotton or Nothing to address consumer demands.

“Denim jeans hold an iconic place in our nation’s psyche,” said Spencer Neale, director of commodity marketing for Virginia Farm Bureau Federation. “Long before they were considered fashionable, they were the clothing of choice among Americans who performed industrial and agricultural work—as early as the late 19th century. Denim is forever ingrained as a symbol of Americans’ hard work and perseverance.”

In the 1950s, Neale noted, images of actor James Dean wearing jeans in Rebel Without a Cause seared in the minds of a whole generation a look that made them stand out from the norm. “The common thread throughout the history of what we know as denim is comfort, durability and cotton. That’s what consumers expect, and that is what they want.”

Cotton or Nothing has urged consumers to check clothing labels when they shop, to be sure garments are made with the fabrics they expect. And it appears some manufacturers are paying attention.

“In some key categories, we’re already seeing market share increase for cotton again, especially in menswear and home textiles,” Cotton Incorporated Vice President Kim Kitchings told the Delta Farm Press recently.

Media: Contact Neale at 804-290-1156.

Posted in: Cotton


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