Everyone says they would buy green if it was just price competitive. Will now it is!
Cotton clothing as been the lifeblood for the revenue success of retail clothing companies like Gap and H&M. But the jump in cotton prices is now making cotton clothing much more expensive.
The spot price of cotton is now above $200 per pound. In August of 2010 it was trading at less than $90 per pound. That is over a 100% price increase in only a matter of 8 months.
Why? Supply is lower, demand is higher.
The four leading cotton producing countries are China, India, Pakistan and U.S. China’s and Pakistan’s cotton supplies have been reduced due to heavy rains and flooding. American farmers have switched from cotton to other crops paying higher government subsidies. So supply is down.
And demand is up. Like every other commodity, demand is being influenced by a world of 7 billion people and growing middle classes in emerging markets like China, India and Brazil.
And non-organic cotton carries a huge environmental footprint. Cotton growing evaporates 50 BILLION cubic miles of water and pollutes approximately 12 billion cubic miles of water. If water is emerging as the new oil then cotton is a SUV.
But here’s the great news for consumers and our environment. The report from the Paris textile show is that fashion designers are being offer a “profusion” of cloth that is of high quality with competitive prices that are made sustainably. Part two of this story features a fabric made from Eucalyptus trees and a company that is growing revenues by offering green cloth-based products that “Cost Less, Mean More!”