Cost of cotton drives up clothes prices - The Boston Globe
|(Image from Boston.com)|
"The apparel industry was hurt after poor weather hurt cotton crops in China and Pakistan over the past several years and speculators then cornered the market. Demand far outstripped supply, and prices skyrocketed. Cotton hit a record high of $2.44 per pound on March 8: last year, cotton averaged about 77 cents a pound."
However interestingly enough, the article mentions that some think consumers are willing to pay more for clothing:
"Cotton Inc. said a new survey revealed that consumers would be willing to pay more than 20 percent above the average price for a pair of jeans and T-shirt, if necessary."
So what this means for eco-fashion? Well I think the fact that they think consumers are willing to pay a little more for clothes instead of sacrificing quality is an overall good thing. Maybe down the road when eco-friendly fashion has become more popular, the average consumer will be able to justify the increased cost of that product for its materials and quality.
But will the increase in the cost of cotton affect the cost of organic cotton as well? According to this article I found from printwear magazine, it's uncertain. It seems that as the cost of conventional cotton rises, it closes the price gap between conventional cotton and organic cotton, which is great (can you imagine if there was no price difference!). However often organic cotton's prices are determined by adding a premium to conventional cotton, which would essentially mean that as conventional cotton prices rise so will those of organic cotton.
“We believe that the price differential for organic cotton is going to increase above conventional but not by as high a percentage as in the past... It could be a differential of twenty-five to thirty percent, but not the fifty percent it sometimes was in the past. It is important to realize that there are no fixed international rules that benchmark organic cotton prices. Rather, prices are fixed by market conditions and commodity traders” -Dale Denkensohn, president of econscious (from printwear article)
|photo from organic-cotton.us|