Call for contributions: Special Issue on ‘Natural Cotton’

Guest editors

  • A. Contargyris (MIRTEC)
  • S. Kouroudis (Cotton Ginning Industry of Thrace)
  • S. Pavlidou (MIRTEC)

Editorial Board (t.b.c.)

  • E. Papachristou (Expert in CAD/CAM and Digital Prototyping and Sustainable production) – GR
  • ANYWAY (Experts in intellectual property, patents, trade marks) – IT
  • S. Panconesi (Eco-bio-textile expert) – IT
  • A. Tsoutsas (Cotton Seeds and Sustainable Fibres Certification Expert) – GR
  • R. Dewhurst (Expert in global business strategies in manufacturing) – UK
  • D. Duarte (Fashion Revolution) – PT
  • P. Brenac (Expert in Natural Dying) – FR
  • E. Kouroudi  (Cotton Ginning) – GR
  • I. Tzortzis (Cotton Spinning) – GR
  • D. Polychronos (Production of cotton combed or carded yarns)- GR
  • P. Kourbelas (Cotton Knitting and Fashion clothing production) – GR
  • C. de Gabriac (Underwear production)- FR
  • R. Bantleon (Towels production)- DE
  • Viral (Production of washable cotton nappies)- SI
  • D. Morrish (Personalised menswear) – UK
  • S. McCaster (Textiles for Heathcare) – UK
  • SONAE (Retail) – PT

This issue on Cotton instantiates the more general concern of TCBL to promote sustainable and eco-friendly choices in textile and clothing value chain by privileging the use of natural materials (cotton, silk, wool, …). The increasing interest of consumers for eco-sustainable products, which is already an existing market trend offers new business opportunities.

Even if the major part of the market needs is covered by imported cotton, there is also – it is less known – EU cotton of excellent quality, produced mainly in Greece and Spain. Most of it is exported from these countries at the very early stages of the value chain, while it could be advantageous from economic and ecologic point of view to process it in further stages. To valorise better this raw material EU T&C industry needs to build (or rebuild) traceable European value-chains producing products with recognised lower carbon print and clear origin and quality. What is at stake, by rebuilding these value-chains, is not only to valorise this specific raw materials but also to save and exploit better the accumulated knowledge and know-how existing at each step of their transformation in final products, which is often a precious, but neglected, competitive advantage of EU producers. The expected result, in macro-economic terms, is to increase the share of added-value of EU origin in the final products sold in Europe.

This issue on Cotton aims to illustrate how it is possible to rebuild the value-chain but also how it can be revitalised renewing the way it operates. It aims to identify and promote R&D results and technical innovations allowing to transform this raw materials using less resources (in water and energy notably) for producing better quality final products and innovative ones, with a recognised market value by the consumers, allowing a better remuneration of those involved in the production process. This revitalisation will also be achieved through the building of more direct connexions between the producers, those using their products and the clients of their clients, Europe-wide, creating more personalised relationships and interactions, which themselves are expected to contribute to a better understanding of market demands by producers and the enrichment of the consumers’ knowledge of the value and origin of the products they purchase. Concrete cases illustrating that are welcome, starting with those initiated these last month within TCBL, but open also to best practices observed worldwide, in Cotton or more generally in Natural Fibres value-chains and which could be transposed to Cotton case.

Ideally this issue should result to be a reference  toolkit or a vademecum for all those, in EU, involved in cotton value-chain to improve the way they currently operate, through different types of innovation (technical, social, business) for increasing the benefits provided by their activities to themselves, their providers and their clients.

Topics can thus include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Market insights on cotton value-chain in EU
  • Production insights on cotton value-chains
  • Innovative processes applicable in cotton value-chain
  • Innovative equipment for cotton value-chain
  • Sustainability and ethical issues in cotton value-chains
  • Certification and tracing schemes applicable to cotton
  • Eco-friendly dying techniques applicable to cotton
  • Quality issues in cotton
  • New paradigms of business transactions and business models in cotton value chain

We encourage submission of the following different types of contributions, particularly welcoming articles from TCBL Associates:

  • Journalistic work (blog posts, opinion pieces, trend updates, etc.)
  • Case studies (profiles or stories of exemplary businesses)
  • Academic or theoretical work (8-10 page research articles, 3-5 page reports on work in progress)



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