Sales of organic products, including textiles, continued to grow in 2015 – marking the third year of consecutive growth for the UK organic sector. 

According to the Soil Association's 2016 Organic Market Report, the UK organic market grew 4.9% in 2015, with the sector now worth GBP1.95bn (US$2.7bn). 

Shoppers spent an extra GBP1.73m a week on organic products last year, and the steady rise of the organic market experienced in the UK mirrors a global trend of growth and widening interest in the organic sector, it explained. 

This year's figures also highlight a shift in consumer shopping habits, moving towards independent retailers. Organic product sales for independent retailers increased by 7.5%, while sales of organic products in supermarkets have grown by 3.2%.

The sustained interest in organic is partially driven by an increase in young and socially conscious 'millennials' with strong social, ethical and environmental values, the research says. These consumers are increasingly choosing organic because they want to know the origins of their food and are willing to pay more for products with quality assurance standards supporting the environment, society and animal welfare.

"This is a hugely exciting time for the organic sector, with the market set to break through the GBP2bn mark in 2016 and reach levels seen before the recession," said Martin Sawyer, chief executive of Soil Association certification. "Thanks to the growth of online, it is now possible for retailers to connect consumers with the broadest choice of organic products."