Accepting the Challenge
Under Armour discovered that buyers prefer cotton.
February 14, 2012
Most U.S. consumers are familiar with Under Armour. It is one of the most popular brands in athletic performance wear today.
Although for years Under Armour has cotton was the enemy, the company’s consumer research revealed buyers preferred cotton, but just didn’t like the way it performed.
My staff and I didn’t take this statement personally but took it as a challenge. We designed textile research projects to improve cotton’s moisture-handling characteristics and after over two years of intense research, testing and development, we’ve accomplished that goal. We created not just one apparel finishing technology, but two.
Our most noted success of late has been with Under Armour. We worked with their staff and mills to implement two new technologies which they now offer as “Charged Cotton” and “Charged Cotton STORM” which are now being marketed to consumers across the world.
Back in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s when cotton was losing market share to the new synthetic fibers, U.S. cotton growers banded together and voted to establish their own self-help program. Today the Cotton Research & Promotion Program continues to meet the challenges of improving the performance of cotton in many areas of commercial and industrial use.
Worsham is President and CEO of Cotton Incorporated.