Global Organic Cotton Market Reaches $4.3 Billion, Driven By Consumer Demand

Organic cotton ball photo

Image courtesy of Organic Exchange

Global retail sales of organic cotton apparel and home textile products reached an estimated $4.3 billion in 2009, according to Organic Exchange's (OE) Organic Cotton Market Report 2008-2009. Despite the recession, sales grew 35% from the $3.2 billion market in 2008; Driven in large part by "consumer interest in 'green' products", and the the development of new and existing organic cotton programs. But which brands and retailers are purchasing all that inventory? Click on through for the top ten (seven of which are based in the U.S.) buyers of organic cotton:

C & A photo

C & A. Image courtesy of Organic Exchange

According to OE the top ten organic cotton-using brands and retailers globally in 2009 were:

  1. C&A; (Belgium)
  2. Nike, Inc. (Oregon, USA)
  3. Walmart (Arkansas, USA)
  4. Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (California, USA), recorded last year as Pottery Barn
  5. H&M; (Sweden)
  6. Anvil Knitwear (New York, USA)
  7. Coop Switzerland
  8. Greensource Organic Clothing Co. (Washington, USA),
  9. Levi Strauss & Co. (California, USA)
  10. Target (Minnesota, USA)
Anvil EcoGoddess photo
Anvil 'Eco-Goddess' organic cotton t-shirt. Image courtesy of Organic Exchange
Levi's men's organic cotton jeans 2009 photo
Levi's organic cotton jeans. Image courtesy of Organic Exchange

The report also revealed that companies are interested in traceability standards, fair labor, and certifications. More below.

Companies increasingly became certified to traceability standards such as the OE Blended or OE 100 standard as it helps users track their 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.

Target Organic Cotton Sheets photo

Target's organic cotton sheets. Image courtesy of Organic Exchange

The market will only continue to grow, according to OE. They expect a 20 to 40 percent increase in both 2010 and 2011 which would result in an estimated $5.1 billion market in 2010 and $6.0 billion market in 2011.

More Organic Exchange
Top 10 Buyers of Organic Cotton in 2008 (You Won't Believe Who's No. 1!)
Organic Exchange Responds to GMO/Organic Cotton Controversy

Related Content on