If you’ve ever stayed at a luxury hotel you’ve likely experienced the joys of beautifully soft bed linen that you can’t wait to jump into at the end of the day, get all cosy and have a nice comfortable sleep in. You’ve maybe even looked at the sheets and tried to figure out what makes them so soft, and then went on your own search for hotel quality sheets for your own home. It is likely that in all of your searches, you have included the words ‘Egyptian Cotton’, in the hopes of finding bedding of the same beautifully soft quality. However, in today’s retail field, those words are seemingly overused for any material and the true quality which the trademarked Egyptian Cotton represents has been lost. This is where Cotton Egypt Association (CEA) comes in, they are working to re-establish the Egyptian Cotton name and ensure that whenever the logo is used, you can be sure you are buying authentic Egyptian cotton products.
The CEA was established in 2005 as a non-profit association to exclusively manage and promote the registered Egyptian Cotton logo trademarks, and to protect the value-add of the Egyptian Cotton identity in supply chains end-to-end. The association aims to do this by globally authenticating the legacy of Egyptian cotton, to ensure that when customers are buying products with the registered Egyptian Cotton trademark, they are sure that the cotton is 100% pure and legitimate. The goal of the association is to rid the supply chain of falsely labelled goods through traceability programs and DNA testing processes to recognize the genomic fingerprint of Egyptian Cotton. Therefore, the purpose of CEA is to restore the reputation of Egyptian Cotton to its former glory, as a respected, trusted, and luxurious quality that can be traced back to Egypt.
Egyptian cotton is the highest quality cotton available anywhere in the world, which is made to last you a lifetime whilst delivering its luxuriously soft feel. The climate in Egypt is perfect for growing cotton, as during the summer months there is a stable warm temperature. The river Nile provides the land with rich fertile soil which receives a constant supply of nutrients. These ideal conditions allow the cotton fibres to grow longer and so with longer fibres, there are fewer ends in the fabric leaving every Egyptian Cotton item with a signature super soft luxurious feel. Additionally, Egyptian Cotton is handpicked to ensure both its purity, but also its structural integrity. Much of the world’s cotton is machine harvested, especially in the USA, which runs the risk of damaging the cotton and leaves getting caught in it. Machine harvesting of cotton consequently requires further cleaning stages to remove leaves which causes the fibres to be damaged leaving them with a less soft feel and the products with a shorter lifespan. Therefore, with CEA’s cotton, they can proudly promote that it is amongst the purest material in the world, cared for throughout its journey from harvesting to end markets to bring you top quality and reliable cotton goods.
To ensure that the market only has authentic Egyptian cotton goods, CEA has been working to authenticate Egyptian cotton products through its partnership with the Bureau Ventas, which provides testing and auditing services to verify the authenticity of Egyptian cotton at any stage of the supply chain. The testing is revolutionary for CEA as it conducts laboratory tests to ensure that every good in the market which is labelled as ‘Egyptian Cotton’ can be traced back to the specific genomic fingerprint of the authentic materials. This is conducted to ensure that when products use or are given the Egyptian Cotton certification, they are authentically made from Egyptian Cotton quality. Once confirmed, CEA conducts audits of businesses every quarter to ensure that all manufacturers which have been graded the trademark are maintaining the authentic quality and standards that Egyptian cotton demands. This is all to help consumers to feel comfortable in purchasing products which have the Egyptian Cotton trademark, as they should have been tested and regulated by the overarching association to ensure the quality of the products.
However, the need for this process began as many people were selling goods with the claims that the materials were 100% Egyptian cotton, therefore for CEA the move to establish regulation and build consumer confidence is a large task and one that the association is constantly having to battle. Fake Egyptian cotton products are so easily dispersed in the market; therefore, CEA is taking positive steps to reverse the damage caused by the fake products and bring back the high-quality and trusted trademark of Egyptian Cotton across all consumer markets. Therefore, as Egyptian cotton is such a vast exporter for Egypt, the government are working with the association to ramp up efforts to develop the country’s textile industry. This development saw the government’s investment of 1.2 billion USD into the industry and promote the added value of Egyptian Cotton, towards the future of Egypt’s cotton manufacturing, agriculture and exporting industries.
Overall, CEA works to reinstate the legacy and reputation of Egyptian Cotton by tackling fake materials, protecting the materials throughout their manufacturing process, and taking part in audits to ensure that the products under the Egyptian Cotton trademark are authentic and high in quality. The industry is such a crucial one for Egypt for its exporting potential, as the only place in the world to buy 100% pure and authentic Egyptian Cotton materials. Therefore, as an association, they are working tirelessly and with innovation to test and uphold the Egyptian Cotton name as one with a reputation for soft, durable, and reliable cotton goods.