The Barnhardt Purified Cotton™ team attended the INDEX 2017 Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, April 4–7. Lewis Barnhardt, President/COO, Tom Robinson, Director of Operations, George Hargrove, VP Sales & Marketing, Ginny Casstevens, Director of Cotton Fiber Sales for Nonwovens, and Levin Lynch, Purified Cotton Sales, all attended the conference, representing Barnhardt.
Record Attendance Leads to New Partnerships
It was a great week, with the weather cooperating beautifully: we enjoyed sunny skies and moderate temperatures. There were 12,758 visitors, which represented 41 countries from around the globe. There was also a record number of exhibitors with 666 exhibiting, a 13% increase over the last INDEX in 2014. This conference is held every three years opposite the IDEA Conference in the USA, and the ANEX in Asia.
The team from Barnhardt had a great week of meetings with key business partners up and down the supply chain, as well as meetings with new potential business partners from all over the world, including South America, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe
Consumers Drive Increased Interest in Purified Cotton™
It was apparent from our meetings that the interest in Barnhardt Purified Cotton™ is at an all-time high, with the desire for high-quality cotton trumping the quest for lower prices globally. This, of course, is being driven by consumers from around the world: they are demanding cotton in the products they use, which ranges from baby wipes to tampons to adult incontinence products.
Today’s global consumer is so much more aware. This is in part due to technological advances that provide immediate solutions, but it’s also occurring simply because consumers are becoming savvier. More than ever, they’re interested in knowing what the products they purchase are actually made of. Consumers have long thought they were getting cotton, when in most cases they were receiving a synthetic fiber.
Demand for Cotton Spreads Around the World
Asian countries have long had a romance with cotton in their hygienic products, whether it’s for baby care, feminine care, or adult incontinence applications. Early on they recognized the advantage of Purified Cotton™ in hygienic products; for example, nonwoven fabrics promote better skin health, and overall these fabrics are safer for consumers with sensitive skin. The inherent softness of cotton, along with the enhanced breathability of fabrics made from cotton, are two additional advantages the fiber has over its synthetic competitors.
It was apparent that the desire for cotton in hygienic products has migrated around the globe to Europe, South America, and North America. Even as demand spreads, there’s one common thread across continents: consumers today want to know what is in their products.
Overall it was a great week for Barnhardt Purified Cotton™. Many meaningful meetings were held, and substantial plans were made for integrating cotton into many platforms. Innovation and high-quality products continue to drive our success, even as we celebrate our 117th year of existence.