According to the Organic Cotton Market Report 2007-2008 released by Lubbock, Texas-based non-profit
organization Organic Exchange (OE), global retail sales of organic cotton apparel and home textile
products reached an estimated $3.2 billion in 2008, a 63-percent increase over the $1.9-billion
market in 2007. Organic production is based on a farming system that maintains and replenishes soil
fertility without using toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers or genetically modified
The top 10 organic cotton-using brands and retailers globally were: Bentonville, Ark.-based
Wal-Mart Stores Inc.; Belgium-based C&A; Beaverton, Ore.-based Nike Inc.; England-based
H&M; Spain-based Zara; New York City-based Anvil Knitwear Inc.; Switzerland-based Coop Group;
San Francisco-based Pottery Barn; Renton, Wash.-based Greensource Organic; and Germany-based Hess
Despite the current economic downturn, most brands and retailers selling organic cotton
products are continuing their sustainability measures, with plans to expand product lines 24
percent and 33 percent in 2009 and 2010, respectively, to create an estimated $4 billion market in
2009 and a $5.3 billion market in 2010.
“It is a sign of the times that despite ominous financial forecasts, brands and retailers
are standing fast to their commitment to making their product lines more sustainable by ever
increasing their use of organic cotton and other organic fibers such as wool, linen, and silk,”
said LaRhea Pepper, senior director, OE.
According to OE’s Organic Cotton Farm and Fiber Report 2008, the amount of organic cotton
grown by farmers globally in 2007/08 increased by 152 percent. The organization also noted that
during 2008, certified organic cotton fiber suppliers increased by 95 percent – compared with
annual growth rates of 45 percent in 2006 and 53 percent in 2007.
April 7, 2009