23rd November 2010

Cotton Prices Rising, Threatening Organic Clothing Industry

Dress By Terraware

Ekyog, the leading organic clothing manufacturer in France, recently expressed concern in a Guardian article on the rising costs of cotton. Organic cotton already costs 60% more than conventionally raised cotton, and with its base price rising a further 50% to 100%, the organic clothing industry may be in a bit of trouble.

An Ekyog co-owner, Nathalie Vautier, stated that fair trade clothing is “nearing the end of a cycle. We will have to change the way we dress, take the opposite course to throwaway fashion, make our clothes last, find ways of reusing them.”

I have to admit, this statement puzzled me a bit. If someone is eco-conscious to start with, are they really going to give away that $80.00 organic cotton tank they bought six months ago? I think not. It may be that in the more rarified world of couture fashion, this is what happens, but if you are making clothes for the environmentally conscious everywoman, many of us likely still have jeans from ten years ago in our closets.

The main takeaway I got from this article is to buy fair trade clothing before the prices start skyrocketing – even higher than they are now.

Here are some other fair trade clothing people you can buy from if you are in North America:

Terraware – Southern/Central Ontario
This organic clothing manufacturer has locations in Thornbury and Dundas, Ontario. Complete your trip to Dundas by visiting the Horn of Plenty health food store across the street from Terraware, and a number of other interesting small shops.

Eco Sumo
This online spot sells reasonably priced apparel for both men and women.

While always on the pricey side, Gaiam is a solid, earth-friendly business that you can trust is actually investigating the clothing that it sells.

This article has 1 comment

  1. Fair Trade Clothing


    Interesting article thanks.

    I agree with your point about the disposable fashion industry. Most people who buy fair trade clothing will be interested in keeping their clothes for as long as possible, then passing it on or recycling/up-cycling it.

    Sad about the price rise, perhaps fair trade clothing manufacturers will move away from cotton more?

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