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Cotton fabrics and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic

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Update time : 2022-08-02 11:20:04
Aside from the textile industry, the COVID-19 pandemic exposed intense stress to multiple systems and all other industrial sectors making the economy decline and delineate. The textile industries and sectors defined COVID-19 to bring a monstrous impact to the business and commercial aspects causing manufacturing activities to completely die. Textile industries suffered as they were not able to market and advertise their products due to a decline in demand for the old supplies and products and a change in new demands. The new demands include raw textile materials for the masks and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Many entrepreneurs stopped their productions and in the worst case, filed for bankruptcy during the COVID-19. Thus since the termination of the production, these companies have also stopped transacting from their raw materials suppliers such as cotton, rayon, Tencel, and other organic sources for marking fabrics.
On the other hand, some opportunities also arise due to the impact brought by the pandemic. Entrepreneurs have taken advantage of the crisis to produce N95 masks and PPE kits, but allowing production to continue while the facility is under lockdown has been stressful. The internationally endorsed material for PPE kits, a five-layered non-woven fabric, is in short supply which contributed to the additional strain. Furthermore, because the business owners formerly dealt with clothing and fashion items, creating masks and PPEs has been such a great challenge and as well as experience as they have less knowledge on manufacturing such items. This factor resulted in slow production and fewer regular orders from the raw materials suppliers.
One of the most affected industries is the cotton printed fabric and custom printed cotton lycra which are two of the most used fabrics in the commercial clothing industry.. The COVID-19 crisis brought the light to remind the government in making sure that the cotton sector will be resilient to future shocks and surprises such as climate-related extreme weather events and the changing of temperature and precipitation patterns. Cotton continues to be crucial for livelihoods and rural development, especially in Africa. A large portion of the cotton produced worldwide is processed into final end-use items across international borders. Cotton is imported or exported by more than 150 nations each year. Only 2.5% of the world's arable land is made up of cotton plantations and the value of cotton in 2021 grew up to 50.6 billion USD as many textile manufacturing industries consider cotton as the primary requirement for their businesses.
The rise of Cotton prices also impacted many businesses since the start of the pandemic. Demand and supply dynamics determine the price of cotton globally. The demand for cotton fiber is mostly driven by the textile and apparel industry, which in turn reflects consumer demand projections. As an outcome of this phenomenon, cotton fabrics and cotton printed fabrics are substituted with synthetic fibers. Most garments and clothing items that are displayed and can be bought from the stores are poly fabrics. From the last 3 years of the pandemic, there are fewer garments and clothing pieces made from pure cotton; and through some digitalization aspects brought by the influences of the pandemic, it gives a higher opportunity to manufacture custom printed cotton lycra. The pandemic has surely created more innovation with less usage of purely organic materials and these are guaranteed to be sustainable and practical.
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