The organics industry is expected to boom faster than ever in the next few years. And I’m stoked.
It seems like everywhere I look, someone else is going organic. Just the other day I was perusing my favorite store, H&M and came across and entire organic section, that I had somehow missed the other times I was in there. We’re seeing them pop up all over – The Gap, American Apparel and prAna. It’s cool to be granola, and the farmers are loving it. As with the new craving for locally grown foods, the local farmers are starting to feel the love sustainably harvested homegrown threads.
Both American Apparel and prAna are not only continuing their lengthy organic roots, but will be doing so from Southern California to offset the carbon burned while transporting the goods! Woo!
Still, the current amount of organic cotton being grown out of America is still small, and a lot of it comes from overseas sources such as Turkey where labor is cheaper. But the market is booming, Organic Exchange‘s predictions for the sales of organic cotton fiber is to see it read $226 million by 2009 in contrast to $19 million in 2004. Suffice to say the opportunity for local farmers to grab their share of the market is anything but small.
Local farmers are not on the road alone, nonprofit groups such as the Sustainable Cotton Project are there helping dozens of farmers find their way into the organic cotton based economy. While not all of these crops are completely organic, they farming techniques used reduces pesticides by up to 73 %… it sure is a start.
Organic is no longer to grudge looking sweaters that we would expect to see 1990’s sad rock bands playing in. Instead it’s high fashion and main stream. In Canada we’re not only seeing an increase in the amount of personally owned business breaking into the organic business, but also our larger retailers.
Cotton Ginny has a grass roots approach to spreading the word on the benefits of organic cotton and aims to educate people, as well as improve quality of life for people in the developing world.
A rise up to $226 Million by 2009 is crazy – and I absolutely look forward to the increase in not only local support of farmers, but people turning to organics. It used to bother me that people were only into organics, fair trade and CFLs because it was “cool”… but hey – if that’s what it takes, then that’s what it takes. I’d much rather it was cool to wear organic than dirty.