organic cotton sales set to soar?

The Soil Association are predicting a trebling in the market sector value of Organic cotton by 2012.

Actually, I mentioned this on twitter the other day, but didnt get around to blogging about it – whoops.

So here’s the story, the Soil Association has published their annual Organic market report, which is always a fund of useful and interesting information for anyone interested in the industry side of organics – like what I am.

Anyway, the nub of the issue is that they are predicting a large growth in marketshare of organic textiles – which is good news I think, certainly for those of us who think that conventional agricultural practises are unsustainable and harmful to environment and producers.

The flipside is that they point out that the current over supply of organic cotton (brought on by a chronic under supply originally) is likely to mean a dip in premiums paid for the produce.  I hope that this is not going to trouble too many producers, but the reality is that these prices are going to have to normalise sometime pretty soon, and we’re all going to have to get used to it.

It seems to me, from my limited market knowledge, that the failure of the market to take on more organic textiles has been down to previous undersupply, so the fact that we now have a surplus is a good indication that the market should expand to include more of the major high street names.  It is still amazingly hard to find organic cotton on the high street, even in places like Marks and Sparks, who are committed to an increase in use of organic textiles.

If you cant be bothered to read the report then let me give you a couple of highlights:

“Sales of organic products are a fast-growing segment of the £30 billion UK clothing and textiles market, exceeding £100 million in 2008 for the first time. The UK makes up about 8–10% of the global organic cotton market…”

“Sales of organic clothing and textiles have increased more than tenfold since 2002. The current economic downturn is likely to cause a slowing of growth in 2009 and 2010. But it is forecast that the rate of growth will pick up again in two years and that sales will almost treble between 2008 and 2012, reaching £280 million…”

So quite possibly an exciting few years ahead.

HT Ecotextile news.

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