company plans to increase its use
of organic cotton fiber each year.
• Pottery Barn launched several
lines of 100 percent organic cotton bedding. More than half of its
bedding contained five percent organic cotton by 2008.
• Timberland shifted more than five
percent of its overall cotton purchases and 100 percent of its promotional t-shirts to organic cotton
and has committed to increase its
organic consumption to a minimum of 10 percent by 2010, the
equivalent of more than one million pounds of organic cotton.
The company’s ultimate goal is to
convert all of the cotton it uses to
• Under the Canopy has expanded
sales to multiple major stores in
the United States, including For-tunoff, Macy’s, and Bed, Bath and
Companies are changing the way they run parts of their businesses in order to make organic work for them. Many of the above
brands, having started by using organic cotton as a slice of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy, have realized that there
are actually greater opportunities in organic. Outdoor clothing company Patagonia has made organic cotton an integral part of its brand
by switching to 100 percent organic cotton for all its cotton use.
The popularity of organic cotton among companies and consumers alike has caused companies to examine how else they can further “green” their product lines. This has spawned an increased
interest in other organic fibers such as wool and linen as well as organic leather, hemp and bamboo, which became certified and available in 2007 and 2008.
Mixing and Matching: Farmers Working with Retailers
Several forward-thinking brands have gone beyond the integration of organic fiber into their products. “Farmers and retailers are
starting to work hand in hand to drive the conversion to and expansion of the organic cotton market,” notes LaRhea Pepper, OE executive director.
Seeing a way to build mutually beneficial partnerships, contribute
to very specific and positive social, economic, and environmental
change, sustainably increase the production of organic cotton fiber,
and lock down appropriate fiber in the right region at the right