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The Supima® Trademark - and what it means.

There has been a lot in the news lately about misrepresented cotton and a litany of class-action lawsuits against brands that have falsely claimed their use of it. With a number of retailers passing off substandard cotton as "Premium Egyptian cotton", we want our customers to have information and transparency in their cotton products. That is why we only use the finest quality cottons and with partners like SUPIMA® it is much easier to provide these assurances.

The SUPIMA® trademark is the consumers’ guarantee that the branded textile product they are buying contains the finest U.S.- Grown Pima Cotton. By licensing the entire supply chain (that’s right, the entire supply chain) SUPIMA® provides added guarantee to customers that SUPIMA® trademarked goods are made with 100% U.S. Pima cotton of the highest quality.

Only SUPIMA® licensees are authorized to use the official SUPIMA® Hang tag. There is added value to using the SUPIMA® trademark- it means a brand is associated with apparel of exceptional quality. To maintain the premium focus of the trademark, the SUPIMA® license is non-transferable. This allows SUPIMA® visibility throughout the supply chain of the use of its trademark, as well as to control the quality and integrity of products that bear the SUPIMA® name.

How do I know if my products are made with SUPIMA®?

Brands that use SUPIMA® cotton in their products reference SUPIMA® content in many different ways. If it’s made with SUPIMA® cotton you will most likely find it on the product label, in the product description on the web or on store displays.

1. Leaves Factory

Once our garments have been completed they are ready to make their way to our warehouse in Denver. This means that they are sent to a coordinating harbor and placed on a ship to the U.S.

There are a number of different routes that the product may take and entry points where it may enter the U.S. We are sent tracking information as soon as it leaves the factory with estimated information on when it is expected to make landfall.

2. Ocean Freight

Once the product leaves the warehouse it travels by boat to make the journey to the U.S. We choose to use ocean freight instead of air freight because it is more environmentally friendly and because it allows us to keep the cost of your products down and to limit our carbon footprint.

3. Clearing U.S. Customs

Once the freight arrives at the port as long as the product is not flagged or randomly screened it will clear U.S. Customs in a matter of days.

However, if the container is randomly selected to be screened, it could delay the process by 10 days. Further, if it needs individual box screening, which is a random selection process, it can add 45 days to the process.

This process is completely out of our control and screening tends to happen randomly and without our knowledge.

4. Railroad

Once the shipment is unloaded from the ocean freighter and has cleared customs, it is loaded onto a train. Train congestion is an ongoing problem in the US, especially when there is an influx of imports. Just like with customs, train congestion is something that is out of our control and doesn't have any pattern to it.

Once the shipment is loaded onto the train, the next stop is right outside of Denver, CO where our warehouse is located. Depending on where the train is coming from, the shipment can take a number of different routes to get to the warehouse, causing the travel time to vary.

We usually have an idea of how long the train will take from point A to point B should everything run on schedule and will update the chart below with all the facts we have.

5. Received at Warehouse

We use a 3PL , state-of-the-act facility for all of our fulfillment. Once a shipment arrives to our warehouse after being unloaded from the train, our warehouse team works to receive the thousands of cartons into our system. Once the products are unpacked and organized, we can start processing orders.

6. Start Shipping

Finally - your garments have made the journey, arrived to our warehouse, and are ready to ship! Once your backordered item has been fulfilled by our warehouse (typically within 5 business days after the product arrives), you will be emailed tracking information and details.

The rest is up to the shipping service you select at checkout.

Traceability Unlike Any Other

Supima utilizes forensic science to test the natural fiber itself and verify its place of origin. To ensure this, Supima® has partnered with Oritain, a global leader in forensic science.

Without clear knowledge of the origin of a product it is impossible to definitively talk about the product. The ability to authenticate cotton to its point of geographical origin enables an open dialogue about all relevant facts, including point of origin, sustainability, and social and economic responsibility aspects. Unlike other technologies that are dependent upon the addition of a tracer or marker.

Oritain uses a peer-reviewed methodology to analyze trace elements and isotopes to determine a products origin. These trace elements and isotopes, which are unique to their environments and regions are absorbed by the cotton fiber. By sampling the cotton over the entire producing region, Oritain has created an origin database that samples can be checked against. This is one way SUPIMA® Cotton has certified traceability.

The cotton naturally absorbs different levels of trace elements and isotopes from the soil, water and environment, giving Supima cotton a unique, identifying fingerprint.

Samples of SUPIMA® cotton are collected across the entire American growing region and are analyzed to identify their unique point of origin.

All data profiles of the Supima growing regions are then stored in a central database managed by Oritain

Samples can be collected from any stage of the supply chain and authenticated against the origin fingerprint.

A product’s unique fingerprint can then be matched to Supima’s origin database.

Supima is able to authenticate the existence of Supima cotton in any product as well as point of origin.



Farms of the Future

From GPS-navigated tractors that plant and harvest the cotton to satellite technology and soil monitors, Supima farmers ensure that they are growing the best quality cotton in the world with as little impact on the environment as possible.

Water Conservation

To maximize water-use efficiency, cotton fields are laser-leveled . This leads to knowledge regarding the topography and make-up of the soil. Farmers then select the best method for irrigating the crop; either through drip irrigation, which directly feeds the plant only, or flood irrigation to restore moisture to the soil, which has the added benefits of:

  • Replenishing aquifers

  • Promoting soil health

  • Fostering wildlife

Soil Conservation

Soil is the farmers’ productive capital, so great effort is made to maintain its fertility and increase productivity. Planting crops that take on the same planting footprint enables the minimization of soil compaction by the farming equipment used. GPS guided tractors that keep the wheels on the same path as prior passes minimizes the need for tilling the soil, while maximizing seed germination and crop yields.

GPS & Satellite

Satellite imagery of the fields can be utilized to understand the growth rate of plants. When lower rates are identified, samples are studied to reveal nutrient needs and any potential pest issues. These findings can be communicated directly to GPS outfitted tractors in real time allowing variable rate application of treatments only to areas of the fields that need them. Satellite and GPS data allows growers to create a detailed history for each individual field and precisely monitor its current state and needs.


Sustainability by Nature

Stalks, Stems & Leaves

All plant materials besides the seed and fiber is captured during the ginning process and is utilized in the local cattle industry as much needed bedding for livestock. By law, all fields must be cleared of plant material to prevent insect populations from nesting over the winter and affecting the next crops. Many growers will also flood-irrigate fields as a natural way to reduce pests while laying a base level of soil moisture for the next planting season.

Supima Seed

One of the most valuable bi-products of the seed is cottonseed oil. It’s considered a premium oil because it is flavorless, odorless, and has a high flash point. Additionally, after crushing the seed to extract the oil, the seed hull is an important source of protein that can be integrated into feed mixes for livestock.

Fiber

As a premium, extra-long staple cotton, great care is taken to preserve the fiber’s premium qualities. This is particularly evident during the ginning process, when the seed is removed from the fiber. All Supima cotton is ginned on “roller gins” that operate at much lower speeds in order to gently separate the fiber from the seed. In contrast, regular cotton is processed by high-speed “saw gins” which use a more aggressive system to break the fiber away from the seed.

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