Blog: Green growth for organic cotton
Leonie Barrie | 5 November 2007
As if further evidence was needed that consumers are no longer simply eating organically grown food take a look at the latest figures on the demand for organic cotton. According to the Organic Exchange, global retail sales for organic cotton products are likely to increase from $1.9bn by the end of 2007 to $3.5bn in 2008 and $6.8bn in 2010 – that’s a nearly four-fold rise in just three years.
The figures aren’t just for clothes, but include personal care products and home furnishings made with organic cotton as well. Significantly, demand has been pushed by retailers expanding their organic programmes to offer more and more products including fashion-forward apparel, and pulled by consumers who are embracing a more altruistic lifestyle.
Other trends highlighted by Organic Exchange’s research include mixing organic cotton with other fibres such as organic wool and linen, and certification to standards such as Fair Trade and Oeko-Tex.
Luckily, organic fibre production is growing apace too. The amount of organic cotton produced globally increased 53% from 2005/06 to 2006/07. Nearly half (44.9%) comes from the Middle East (Turkey, Syria and Israel), while around one-third (32.9%) is grown in South East Asia (India and Pakistan).
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