CBI Product Factsheet Duvet covers

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1 CBI Product Factsheet Duvet covers Practical market insights into your product The European market for duvet covers is a large and interesting market, offering opportunities to developing country exporters. European consumers value more sustainable materials and highly personalised products, therefore you should reflect on these trends in order to achieve successful entry to the European market for duvet covers. Product description A duvet cover is a large fabric bag that protects the duvet. A duvet is a type of bedding consisting of a soft bag filled with feathers, wool or a synthetic alternative. Duvet covers have button, envelope/flap, snap, tie or zipper closures at the bottom allowing the cover to be easily removed and washed. Classification of duvet covers: Harmonised System (HS) Within Europe, the following HS codes are used to indicate trade in duvet covers: o : bed linen, printed, of cotton o : bed linen, printed, of other textile materials o : other bed linen of cotton o : other bed linen, of other textile materials Prodcom: the following prodcom codes are used to indicate European production of duvet covers: o : bed linen of cotton (excluding knitted or crocheted) o : bed linen of flax or ramie (excluding knitted or crocheted) o : bed linen of woven textiles (excluding of cotton, of flax or ramie) Quality: Functionality: Since the actual duvets cannot be frequently cleaned due to their delicate filling, duvet covers are used to protect them from dust and stains. Duvet covers also fulfil a decorative purpose. Being essentially bed covers, they can change the look and atmosphere of a bedroom in a simple and inexpensive way. Raw material quality: Duvet covers are available in a wide variety of fabrics. However, since they need to be washed regularly the most commonly used material, which combines breathability and durability, is cotton. Other raw materials include linen, silk and polyester, though they are not frequently used for manufacturing duvet covers. Cotton can also be blended with other (man-made) fibres to make ironing easier. Design: A variety of designs is available for duvet covers, along with matching sheets, pillow cases and bed skirts. The different styles include floral patterns, geometric shapes, fantasy images, tropical and animal prints, photo prints as well as solid colours. Duvet covers can also be handmade, usually with patchwork designs and traditional embroideries.

2 Size: Duvet cover sizes are defined in relation to the dimensions of beds. According to the Europeans bed measurements, duvet covers are manufactured in the following sizes: o 150cm x 210cm (single bed) o 200cm x 200cm (double bed) o 240cm x 220cm (king bed) o 260cm x 220cm (super king bed) Other sizes are also available depending on which European country you are supplying duvet covers to. For example, duvet cover sizes differ between Germany, the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe. It is important to know the sizes before attempting any market entry efforts. It is good to communicate, to your potential European buyer, the sizes you are able to produce while in the early stages of collaboration. It is not common to have joints in the front or back of a duvet cover, so a minimum fabric width of 220+ cm for double-bed duvet covers is advisable. Labelling: Labels for transport should include information on the producer, consignee, composition of the product and the size of the product, number of pieces, box identification and total number of boxes, net and gross weight. The most important information on the product or packing labels of duvet covers is: composition, size, origin and care labelling. For more information and illustrations of product labelling, please refer to the labelling-specific rules for textiles under buyer requirements. Packaging: When shipping your product to a client, the duvet covers should be packed according to the instructions of your buyer. The packaging usually consists of plastic wrapping to protect the fabric from water, solar radiation and staining. The packaging should also be in dimensions and weight, which are easy to handle. Standards in Europe are often related to labour regulations at point of destination and will have to be specified by the buyer. Carton boxes are usually palletised for air or sea transport and exporters are requested to maximise pallet space. Duvet covers are usually displayed unpacked, making attractive consumer packaging of minor importance. In general, consumer packaging can be simple in design, following the duvet cover s design and its material. However, when you are supplying the high-end and middle-high segments of the market, well-designed consumer packaging has become the standard, for example a luxurious box with, inside, a paper wrapping around the duvet cover. The consumer packaging also provides space to explain more about the product s qualities. Which European markets offer opportunities for exporters of duvet covers? European imports of duvet covers have grown strongly after a dip in Developing countries are Europe s main duvet cover suppliers. Europe s main importers of duvet covers are: Germany France the United Kingdom. With a strong market for developing countries, the United Kingdom is an especially interesting focus country.

3 Note that the following data only give an indication of trade in duvet covers. No specific trade data are available. The figures below cover bed linen in general. Imports Figure 1: European imports of bed linen including duvet covers,* in million Intra EU Developing Countries Rest of the world Source: Trademap (2016) * These figures cover bed linen in general. Figure 2: Main importers of bed linen including duvet covers,* in million Intra EU Developing Countries Rest of the world Source: Trademap (2016) * These figures cover bed linen in general.

4 Figure 3: Leading suppliers of bed linen including duvet covers* Pakistan Germany Turkey China 249 Bangladesh India Other Source: Trademap (2016) * These figures cover bed linen in general. After a dip in 2012, European imports of bed linen including duvet covers have recovered strongly. They reached 2.4 million in This resulted in an average annual growth rate of 2.9% between 2011 and In the coming years, European imports are expected to keep growing moderately. Developing countries are Europe s main source of bed linen including duvet covers. They supply 59% of European imports. This amounted to 1.4 billion in This share is predicted to remain stable in the coming years. Germany is Europe s leading importer of bed linen including duvet covers, with 542 million in imports in France and the United Kingdom follow at 408 million and 323 million respectively. Germany is also leading when it comes to imports from developing countries, with 347 million in imports. The United Kingdom follows at 272 million. France is ranked third at 183 million. Exports from developing countries to the United Kingdom grew strongly between 2011 and 2015, with 133 million in exports. However, in Germany and France, these imports declined slightly by 58 million and 13 million respectively. Pakistan dominates European bed linen including duvet cover imports, with 26% in Other leading suppliers from developing countries are Turkey, China, Bangladesh and India. Tips Focus on Germany, France and the United Kingdom. With strong imports from developing countries, the United Kingdom is an especially interesting market. Compare your products and company to the strong competition from Pakistan, as well as Turkey, China, Bangladesh and India. You can use ITC Trademap to find exporters per country. You can compare by: o o o o market segment price quality target countries.

5 Exports Figure 4: European exports of bed linen including duvet covers* Intra EU Developing Countries Rest of the world Source: Trademap (2016) * This figure covers bed linen in general. European exports of bed linen including duvet covers mainly regard trade within Europe. Germany ( 305 million) and Portugal ( 246 million) are Europe s leading exporters of bed linen including duvet covers. Production and consumption Europe s demand for bed linen including duvet covers is about double its production. This drives the need for imports, making Europe an interesting market for bed linen including duvet covers. European production of bed linen including duvet covers was fairly stable between 2010 and 2014, at around 1.4 billion. In the same period, European consumption of bed linen including duvet covers increased from 2.5 billion to 2.8 billion. With 247 million, Portugal is responsible for 18% of European production of bed linen including duvet covers. Italy, Germany and France follow at 192 million, 186 million and 179 million respectively. European consumption of bed linen including duvet covers is highest in France, at 531 million. Germany and the United Kingdom follow at 518 million and 458 million respectively.

6 Macro-economic indicators Figure 5: Real private consumption expenditure growth 3,0 2, ,0 1,5 1,0 0,5 0,0 Germany France United Kingdom Netherlands Italy Belgium Source: Eurostat Private consumption expenditure is an important indicator for the European home textiles market. The sector is closely linked to economic conditions. When money is tight, consumers postpone buying non-essential items until they have enough disposable income. Between 2015 and 2017, European private consumption expenditure is expected to increase. This means that consumption of luxury and decorative products is likely to rise. Especially in emerging markets, consumers will have more money available to spend on these products. Consumers in mature markets already spend a fair amount of money on luxury items, so growth in their consumption is expected to be moderate. Which trends offer opportunities on the European market for duvet covers? Personalisation The trend of personalisation is becoming increasingly popular in the textile industry. The duvet cover has an important decorative function that can easily shape the style and the atmosphere of a bedroom. Therefore, duvet cover designs are very diverse, in order to match the countless tastes and moods of consumers. Successful examples of customisation include printing of paintings on the cover and drawing the cover with washable markers to match the consumer s tastes. Tip Consider providing a variety of choices for your target group of consumers. Ideas such as offering your consumers a variety of photos/images that can be printed on the duvet cover are very popular, especially if you are supplying the high and middle-high segments of the market. Sustainability Following the textile industry trends, the current consumer and designer trends for duvet covers focus increasingly on better business. This is the concept of minimising the environmental impact around production and consumption of goods. Specifically for duvet covers, different raw materials, which are more sustainable, can be used. Materials like organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, ramie and soy silk are becoming increasingly popular. However, since sustainable materials come with a higher price, this trend is more relevant to the higher segments of the market.

7 Tip Consider sustainable raw materials and sustainability certifications for your duvet covers, especially if you are supplying the higher segments of the market. There are different certifications to ensure sustainable raw materials and sustainable processes. Please refer to CBI Trends Home Decoration & Home Textiles in Europe for more information on general trends in home textiles. With which requirements should duvet covers comply to be allowed on the European market? Figure 6: Buyer requirements With which legal and non-legal requirements must your product comply? General Product Safety: The General Product Safety Directive (GPSD) states that all products marketed in Europe must be safe to use and forms a network for all specific legislation established for specific products and issues. If no specific legal requirements have been established for your product and its uses, the General Product Safety Directive still applies. If there are specific requirements applicable to duvet covers, the general Product Safety Directive applies in addition, covering all other safety aspects that may not have been described specifically. Tip Study the specific legal requirements listed, to ensure the product does not cause any danger in its normal use. Most buyers will require proof that the developing country exporter complies with legal requirements and most large retailers have their Codes of Conducts. You can read more about the General Product Safety Directive in the EU Export Helpdesk. Chemicals-Restricted Substances: The European Union has restricted a great number of chemicals in products that are marketed in Europe. These are listed in the REACH regulation. If you dye your cushion covers, make sure you do not use any of the azo dyes that release any of the 22 aromatic amines that are

8 prohibited. The legislation lists the aromatic amines, not the azo dyes that release them. The vast majority of azo dyes are, therefore, legally acceptable. Furthermore, the flame retardants that can be used have been restricted, including Tris (2.3 dibromopropyl) phosphate (TRIS); Tris (aziridinyl) phosphineoxide (TEPA) and Polybromobiphenyles (PBB) which have been prohibited in products intended to come into contact with the skin. Tips In the case of dyeing: Make sure your products do not contain any of the azo dyes that release the forbidden aromatic amines. This includes checking your own suppliers. Follow developments in the field of flame retardants, as new alternatives are being developed. You can do so for instance through the European Flame Retardants Association (EFRA). Familiarise yourself with the full list of restricted substances in products marketed in Europe by checking out restricted chemicals in textile products in the EU Export Helpdesk. Labelling-specific rules for textiles: Textiles should be labelled or marked indicating fibre composition whenever they are made available on the market and should be durable, easily legible, visible and accessible. The main purpose of the European Union s Textile Regulation is to ensure that consumers, when purchasing textile products, are given an accurate indication of their fibre composition. There is no Europe-wide legislation on the use of symbols for washing instructions and other care aspect of textile articles. However, note that consumers consider care information the second most important information on a product s label (after size). You are therefore advised to follow ISO standards on this matter. Tip Know your own product and study the European labelling rules to find out how it should be labelled in Europe. For example, if you use a cotton name, trademark, or other term that implies the presence of a type of cotton, the generic fibre name cotton must be used with it. Find out more about textile labelling rules in the EU Export Helpdesk. You are advised to follow ISO 3758: 2012 on the care labelling code using symbols for textiles. What additional requirements do buyers often have? Social performance: Companies/producers can differentiate themselves by introducing sustainability. The means of offering sustainable products are numerous, ranging from recycling to certification and use of labels. Two retail initiatives have gained quite some ground, particularly in West-European countries: The Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) has been developed by European retailers to improve social conditions in sourcing countries. Suppliers to BSCI participants are expected to comply with the BSCI Code of conduct. To prove compliance, your production process can be audited at the request of the importer. Once a company is audited, it will be included in a database that can be used by all BSCI participants. The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) is an alliance of companies, trade unions and voluntary organisations, working in partnership to improve the working lives of people across the globe who make or grow consumer goods. Tips Since more and more European importers participate in BSCI and ETI, complying with the BSCI and ETI codes of conducts is currently seen as a basic requirement. If you haven t done so already, you may want to look

9 into the opportunities for improving your sustainability performance. This may not always include immediate certification or application of a label, but familiarising yourself with issues included in the initiatives will give you an idea of what to focus on. For more information on sustainability, please refer to the CBI Trend Special Sustainability in the Home Sector. What are the requirements for niche markets? While sustainability is gaining ground, the actual use of certification is still not widely spread in this sector. Nevertheless, there are several eco-labels used for textiles, including duvet covers. As this is a means of demonstrating sustainability, there is an increasing interest from buyers. The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is a textile-processing standard for organic fibres; OEKO-TEX stands for no use of hazardous chemicals and the European Union s Ecolabel also looks at environmentally friendly options. The voluntary Nordic Swan eco-label is used in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Iceland for textile products. Tips Check the possibility of sourcing organic cotton for your duvet covers. Textile products that contain a minimum of 70% organic fibres can become GOTS certified. Consider the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 for your product. The certification provides textile and clothing companies with more transparent supplier relationships and facilitates the flow of information regarding potential problematic substances. Consider the Ecolabel for your product. The label is awarded only to products with the lowest environmental impact in a product range. Consider the Swan eco-label when targeting the Nordic Countries. For a complete overview of certifications for textiles please turn to ITC s Standards Map What competition will I be facing on the European duvet covers market? Please refer to CBI Field of Competition for Home Textiles, as the competitive field for duvet covers does not differ significantly from this general overview. Which channels can you use to put duvet covers on the European market? As market segments for duvet covers do not differ significantly from this general overview, please refer to CBI Channels and Segments Home Textiles in Europe for a general overview of the market segments. In the low-end segment, simple designs and low prices are common. In the middle segment, duvet covers are manufactured using sustainable raw materials and are more stylish when compared to the low end segment. In the high segment, duvet covers offer a better raw material quality, while designers quality is common. What are the end-market prices for duvet covers? There is a very wide price range for duvet covers within the European market for duvet covers. Duvet covers retail prices can vary from 13 to 108 or more. The prices vary based on the material, style and design of the product, as well as the brand of the duvet cover.

10 Table 1: Indicative consumer prices Low-end Middle-low end Middle-high end High-end Duvet covers or more Tips The European market is still struggling with the economic crisis and is facing reduction in consumption of duvet covers. Therefore, it is recommended that developing country exporters focus on the higher segments, if you can offer some added value through handmade products for example. Focus on the lower segments of the market is recommended if you offer mechanised production. Your products will be sold to European consumers for a price that is significantly higher than your selling price. The consumer price is approximately times the FOB price in the country of origin. Besides energy, labour and transport costs, FOB prices depend heavily on the availability and prices of the raw materials. Between May of 2015 and 2016, the average prices of, for instance, cotton fluctuated about every three months. In total, they noted a moderate decrease of about 5%. Incidental price hikes of raw materials are not directly passed on to the consumer, but they exert pressure on exporters, importers and retailers margins. Figure 7: Indicative price mark-ups FOB Price Logistics Wholesale Retail VAT 15 20% 50 90% % +20% Source: ProFound (2014) * VAT percentages in Europe range from 18% in Malta to 27% in Sweden. On average these percentages are around 20%. Useful sources Trade fairs Visiting and especially participating in trade fairs is highly recommended as one of the most efficient methods for testing market receptivity, obtaining market information and finding prospective business partners. The most relevant trade fairs in Europe for exporters of duvet covers are the following. Maison & Objet - Paris, France Heimtextil - Frankfurt, Germany Ambiente - Frankfurt, Germany Please review our market information disclaimer.

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