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Organic cotton markets sees 10% growth

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The organic cotton market is again growing according to the Organic Cotton Market Report, an annual study conducted by Textile Exchange, an international non-profit organization committed to a more sustainable textile industry. The report encompasses extensive data about organic cotton from seed through finished product on a worldwide level and also takes the opportunity to celebrate those who are building a stronger organic cotton market. 

The market sees 10% growth

The last several years have been complicated for the organic cotton industry, with three consecutive years of production decline. From 2012/13 to 2013/14 however, production was up 10%, the largest increase in four years. The turnaround can be attributed to increased market demand and improved connections between organic cotton farmers and the textile supply chain.  Based on in-conversion data and farmer forecasts, Textile Exchange estimates an additional 15 - 20% growth in the coming year. 

Top 10 companies by organic cotton volume

The Organic Cotton Market Report features many overarching industry statistics that can influence future organic cotton production decisions. It also recognizes the top 10 companies by organic cotton volume. The total amount of organic cotton used by the top 10 brands has grown 25% since last year.  Top 10 organic cotton users by volume are: C&A, H&M, Tchibo, Decathlon, Nike, Carrefour, Target, Lindex, Inditex and Puma.

Organic cotton-producing and manufacturing countries

India, Bangladesh and China all saw a more than 100% increase in certified organic cotton textile facilities.  Worldwide, there was a 5% increase in land use dedicated to organic cotton growth compared to a growth of 10% in production. This variance in growth can be attributed to the majority of growth occurring amongst the higher yielding producers. India remains the leader responsible for 74% of global supply. Strong growth in Peru (56%) is in response to market demand into Peruvian textile value chains. Turkey is projecting that they will double their organic cotton production over the next three years. 

Still work to do

Non-GMO seed supply is the leading barrier to future growth of the organic cotton market, according to Textile Exchange. Another finding that demonstrates an area for improvement is that 96.7% of the total global organic fibre is produced in the top five organic cotton-producing countries. This indicates a need to spread out production and supply chains to more countries to extend the reach of organic cotton.  In addition, brands are committed to growing their organic cotton use but supply is not able to meet that demand.Finally, the need for more data about organic cotton is significant. In the current report, TE’s new preferred fibres benchmarking tool will enable companies to track their fiber usage and supply chain management which will be a significant help. The report overview is available for free and the entire report is free to Textile Exchange members. It can be purchased on by the public for $1,200 here.


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