Top 10 Buyers of Organic Cotton (You Won't Believe Who's No. 1!)

7. Coop Switzerland

Photo credit: Coop Switzerland

Like its name implies, Coop Switzerland is a Swiss cooperative that operates the second-largest supermarket in Switzerland. Coop accounts for 50 percent of all organic food sold in the country, according to a company fact sheet, but it also gets a nice slice of the organic, fair-trade cotton textile market, generating sales of CHF 46 million with its Naturaline label.

6. Anvil Knitwear (USA)

Photo credit: Anvil Knitwear

The maker of the first carbon-neutral T-shirt, Anvil Knitwear can be found under its own brand, as well as several private labels. To raise environmental awareness for Earth Day, Anvil, in partnership with the Sierra Club and Carbonfund.org, donated more than 6,000 recycled-cotton and roughly 1,500 organic cotton tees to schools, universities, and environmental organizations.

5. Zara (Spain)

Photo credit: Zara

Producing 11,000 unique clothing pieces every year, compared with an industry average of 3,000, according to BusinessWeek, Zara exemplifies fast fashion, giving even H&M; (see No. 4) a run for its money. The Spanish retailer, which has 1,000 stores in 54 countries, introduced an organic cotton denim and tee line last summer, which it has subsequently expanded with dresses, tops, and scarves.

4. H&M; (Sweden)

Photo credit: H&M; H&M; first dabbled in organic cotton in 2004 with selected pieces from its children's collection. In 2007, the Swedish fast-fashion retailer extended its organic initiative to all departments, steadily increasing its usage of organic cotton with each passing year. In 2009, H&M; expects to use around 3,000 tonnes of organic cotton, 100 times more than it did in 2006.

Tags: Accessories | Clothing | Cotton | Germany | Green Fashion | Sustainable Fabrics | United States

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