Blog: Leonie BarrieOrganic cotton blooms

Leonie Barrie | 21 April 2006

If you’re seriously interested in looking after your health and the environment, going green doesn’t stop with a switch to organically grown food. Instead it’s a whole lifestyle change – a fact that’s borne out by research that shows we’re increasingly wearing clothes, using personal care products and even outfitting our kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms with products made from organic cotton. And it seems this trend is set to soar.

According to a report from the non-profit Organic Exchange, global organic cotton product sales will skyrocket to $2.6bn by the end of 2008, an average annual growth rate of 116%. This follows a rise of 35% a year between 2001 and 2005. In the same period fibre production has risen to a projected 31,017 metric tons in the 2005-06 harvest, up 76% a year. 

Brands leading the way in terms of organic cotton use in 2005 were Nike, Coop Switzerland, Patagonia, Otto (Germany), and Sam’s Club/Wal-Mart (Arkansas). It’s encouraging to see such big names leading the way, even though (wearing my cynical hat) they’ve obviously recognised that this strategy helps them position for long term growth. But a little altruism surely goes a long way.


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