Global retail sales of organic cotton apparel and home textile products grew 35 percent in 2009, reaching an estimated $4.3 billion from $3.2 billion in 2008, according to a report from Organic Exchange (OE).
The report finds that continued growth in the global organic cotton market is driven largely by consumer interest in “green” products, significant expansion of existing organic cotton programs by brands and retailers, and the launch of organic cotton programs by new players in the market.
The report, “Organic Cotton Market Report 2009,” finds that despite a recession there is little change from the 40 percent average annual growth rate the organic cotton market has experienced from 2001 to 2009. It also shows significant growth when compared to the overall global apparel and household textiles market, which decreased almost 7 percent from 2008.
Other findings show that more companies became certified to traceability standards such as the OE Blended or OE 100 standard, which helps users track their actual use of organic fiber from the field to the finished product.
Many manufacturers also became certified to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), which addresses textile’s processing stages and includes strong labor provisions.
OE forecasts the global organic cotton market will grow 20 to 40 percent in both 2010 and 2011, reaching about $5.1 billion market in 2010 and $6.0 billion market in 2011.
Organic cotton production in 2008/09 grew 20 percent over 2007/08 from 145,872 metric tons (MT) to 175,113 MT (802,599 bales) and was grown on 625,000 acres (253,000 hectares) in 22 countries.
The top twelve brand and retail consumers of organic cotton are:
–Nike, Inc. (Oregon)
–Williams-Sonoma (California, recorded last year as Pottery Barn),
–Anvil Knitwear (New York)
—Greensource Organic Clothing (Washington)
—Levi Strauss (California)
Here’s a chart that shows the top consumers of organic cotton from 2005 to 2009.