The Supima® Trademark —
and What it Means.
There has been a lot in the news about misrepresented cotton. With retailers passing off substandard cotton as "Premium Egyptian cotton", we want our customers to have information and transparency for their cotton products. That is why we only use the finest quality cotton with partners like SUPIMA®.
The SUPIMA® trademark is the consumers’ guarantee that the branded textile product they are buying contains U.S.- Grown Pima Cotton. By licensing the entire supply chain (that’s right, the entire supply chain) Supima provides added assurance to customers that SUPIMA® trademarked goods are made with 100% U.S. Pima cotton.
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 the highest quality apparel. 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.
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.
How do I know if my products are made with Supima®?
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.
How it Works
The cotton naturally absorbs different levels of trace elements and isotopes from the soil, water and environment.
These trace elements give Supima cotton a unique, identifying fingerprint.
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.
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:
Promoting soil health
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.
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.
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.