Organic Cotton Still Growing Globally

LUBBOCK, Texas—Global retail sales of organic cotton apparel and home textile products reached an estimated $4.3 billion in 2009, according to the Organic Cotton Market Report 2009 released by the non-profit organization, Organic Exchange (OE).

This represents a 35 percent increase over 2008 and reportedly indicates little change from the 40 percent average annual growth rate the organic cotton market has experienced from 2001 to 2009.

According to the results of OE surveys and interviews, the top 12 organic cotton-using brands and retailers globally in 2009 were: C&A, Nike Inc., Walmart, Williams-Sonoma Inc., H&M, Anvil Knitwear, Coop Switzerland, Greensource Organic Clothing Co., Levi Strauss & Co., Target, adidas, and Nordstrom.

OE projects the global organic cotton market will grow 20 to 40 percent in both 2010 and 2011 to result in an estimated $5.1 billion market in 2010 and $6.0 billion market in 2011. The continued rapid expansion of the global organic cotton market was reportedly driven in large measure by consumer interest in green products, expansion of existing organic cotton programs by brands and retailers, and the launch of organic cotton programs by new entrants to the market.

Companies increasingly became certified to traceability standards such as the OE Blended or OE 100 standard as it helps users track the actual use of organic fiber from the field to the finished product, contributing to the increasing integrity of the organic fiber market. Many manufacturers also became certified to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) which addresses textile’s processing stages and includes strong labor provisions.

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