In this case study a global manufacturer of performance apparel engaged CPL Business Consultants to advise it on techniques that could be used, or developed, to identify the geographic sources of cotton used in fabric. CPL recommended which analytical method would be most suitable, indicating the research costs and effort involved in validating this. We provided the client with details of CROs who would be able to carry our this research and do the analysis. Following this, the client incorporated it as a project as part of its research and development strategy.

CPL assessed various analytical techniques and advised the client on likely costs required for the routine testing of samples. The following areas of information were taken into account:

  • Species of cotton
  • Effect of cotton processing
  • Opinions and suggestions of ‘cotton’ experts in the US, EU and Australia
  • Analytical methods used in food, fibre and pharmaceutical analysis
  • Views of various companies in food/chemical industries that analyse similar materials
  • Opinions and suggestions of various contract analysts
  • Information concerning the fibre authenticity and laws within the EU

An outline of the report is shown below.

Techniques to Identify Cotton Sources

Executive Summary

  • Objectives
  • Principal Findings
    • What to Analyse
    • Which Methods to Use
  • Recommendations


Cotton and Cotton Processing

Origin of Cotton and Cotton Markets

Tagging of Cotton

Analytical Options and Techniques

  • Available Options to Identify Cotton Sources
  • Elemental and Stable Isotopic Analysis
  • Radioactive Isotopes
  • Physical Appearance
  • Wet Chemistry

Results, References and Databases

Overall Technical Approach


Service Providers


CPL Business Consultants has also worked on genetic fingerprinting and bioanalysis. Have a look at our PowerPoint Introduction and Brochure describing deliverables, differentiators and case studies. You can also review eight case studies.

Share this project: