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Cotton Egypt Takes on Counterfeiters With Black List, Secret Shoppers

The Cotton Egypt Association, the organization that certifies Egyptian cotton’s authenticity, has launched an initiative to actively root out fake goods from the supply chain.

In its latest endeavor to protect the Egyptian Cotton brand, the association has started naming and shaming manufacturers who fail its rigorous accreditation program through a new “Black List” published on its website, cottonegyptassociation.com.

The first company named on the Black List is Indus Home Ltd., based in Lahore, Pakistan. The site notes that the towel manufacturer has had its license suspended after test results of products labeled with the Egyptian Cotton Logo and supplied to a retailer showed they were not 100 Egyptian Cotton. The auditor was Bureau Veritas.

The Cotton Egypt Association is also set to launch a worldwide task force of “secret shoppers” who will purchase products marked as Egyptian Cotton from retailers in store and online that will then be passed along for testing. Only products made from 100 percent Egyptian Cotton can carry the trademarked pyramid cotton logo, the association noted.

“We will not stand by while unscrupulous manufacturers mix Egyptian Cotton with sub-standard fibers, Khaled Schuman, executive director of the Cotton Egypt Association, said. “Cotton Egypt Association has been working tirelessly over the last three years to protect the integrity and authenticity of the brand, to protect its retail partners and to ensure consumers they are buying genuine Egyptian Cotton goods. As well as taking the appropriate action, we will name and shame those trying to pass off non-genuine goods as Egyptian Cotton.”

The association will continue its facility audits, traceability assessments, retailer surveillance, and information management partnership with leading testing and verification body Bureau Veritas, as well as a new partnership with an independent legal organization aimed at cleaning up the global Egyptian Cotton retail space to eliminate fakes.

The process includes extracting DNA from cotton fibers, yarns, woven, knitted, fabric or finished apparel.

The Cotton Egypt Association is a non-profit association established in 2005 with support from the Ministry of Industry and Foreign Trade. The Association’s mission, working closely with local and international companies involved in the Egyptian Cotton supply chain, is to protect Egyptian Cotton’s legacy of luxury and help promote all Egyptian Cotton licensees and their products.