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Textile Roundup: Circular Fibres Intiative Bows, Exec Changes at American Textile, Pakistan Taxes Cotton Imports

A new Circular Fibres Initiative has just gotten off the ground, American Textile boosts its executive ranks and Pakistan imposes cotton import duties.

Circular Fibres Initiative

The movement to create a circular economy got a boost with the launching of Circular Fibres Initiative.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation along with Wendy Schmidt of the Schmidt Family Foundation and Lewis Perkins of Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation Institute announced the initiative at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit.

The aim of the of Circular Fibres Initiative is to bring together key industry stakeholders to build a circular economy for textiles starting with clothing.

The initiative is supported by the C&A Foundation, H&M and Nike, along with organizations including the Danish Fashion Institute, Fashion for Good, Cradle to Cradle and Mistra Future Fashion.

Participants in the initiative will work together to define a vision for a new global fibers system that will address the significant drawbacks of the ‘take-make-dispose’ model currently dominating the industry. The new system for textiles will be based on the principles of a circular economy, generating growth that benefits citizens and businesses, while phasing out negative impacts such as waste and pollution.

Textiles is the second global materials flow that the Foundation has focused on. In 2016, it launched the New Plastics Economy initiative, bringing the industry together to build a plastics system that works. The success of this initiative, which includes two major reports presented at the World Economic Forum, stakeholder workshops and significant media attention, has highlighted the importance of a pre-competitive, collaborative mindset among participants.

Fibers are a key part of today’s global economy, with clothing production having doubled in the last 15 years as sales of footwear and apparel reached $1.67 trillion in 2016. As a first step, the Circular Fibres Initiative will produce, with McKinsey & Co., an analysis of the textiles industry, mapping how textiles flow around the global economy, and the externalities that arise from the current system. The initiative’s first report is due for publication this fall.

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American Textile

Bedding manufacturer American Textile Company has announced a series of executive changes to support its growing operations and expanding brand portfolio.

The personnel moves include the appointment of Mark Milani to vice president of manufacturing and distribution, the promotion of Chris Donelan to AmeriFill Division director and the additions of Harrison King as vice president of quality control, and Todd Rankin as director of marketing for the AllerEase brand.

“In concert with significant investment in our manufacturing operations, we’re investing in our people and our commitment as an employer in the Pittsburgh community,” said Lance Ruttenberg, president and chief executive officer of American Textile.

In his new role, Milani will oversee a new facility in Tifton, Ga,. along with four other American Textile locations across North America. He joined American Textile in 2012 and previously was vice president of quality and engineering.

The AmeriFill division produces white label and licensed pillows and bedding in the home textile, pet and healthcare markets. Donelan has been with American Textile Company since 2009, and with the AmeriFill Division from its inception in 2012.

King joins American Textile from Hollander Sleep Products, where as vice president of manufacturing he was responsible for five production facilities. Rankin previously spent more than 20 years with GlaxoSmithKline in various leadership roles within sales, marketing, business development and category management.

“The pace of innovation around textiles and sleep is accelerating, and we want to lead the industry, both in product and talent development,” added Ruttenberg. “Milani, Donelan, King, and Rankin are integral to that vision.”

In March, the company announced a licensing deal that will allow it to develop and distribute Tempur-Pedic branded sleep products featuring Tempur-Pedic’s signature adaptive features. The product line will include sheets, mattress pads and protectors, blankets and comforters manufactured by American Textile, which employs more than 1,100 people worldwide.

Pakistan Cotton

Looking to boost domestic growers and in light of a surge in cotton import volume in recent months, Pakistan’s Economic Coordination Committee has approved reinstatement of import customs duty and sales tax on imported cotton.

The decision, to be effective from July 15, is expected to result in greater sowing and harvest of cotton in the upcoming season.

While customs duty will be levied at a 4 percent rate, sales tax would be imposed at 5 percent rate.

“The decision has been made to boost the confidence of domestic cotton growers during the upcoming sowing season,” said finance minister Ishaq Dar, who chaired the ECC meeting.

The government withdrew the levy of import duty and sales tax on cotton imports about seven months ago, after a decline in cotton production last season.

Pakistan, which has traditionally been among the largest raw cotton exporters, has been importing cotton for the last two years to meet its domestic consumption of around 15 million bales.

According to Cotton Incorporated, nearly every cotton producing country is expected to grow more in the 2017-18 crop year. The largest year-over-increases are expected in the U.S, India, China, Pakistan, Turkey and Australia. In terms of mill-use, the largest year-over-year changes are for Vietnam, China, Bangladesh, Turkey and India.

Global trade is expected to grow 3 percent to 37.6 million bales in the 2017-18 crop year. Countries with the largest expected increases in imports include Vietnam, Bangladesh, Turkey and China. Among exporters, the largest year-over-year gains are predicted for Australia, Brazil and India. The U.S. is forecast to export half a million bales less than in 2016-17, from 14.5 million bales to 14 million.