12.05.2006

As organic cotton goes mainstream ... is the mainstream already bored?


Is organic cotton more than just this year's iPod pocket?

According to this week's Economist, the combination of minimal supply, high potential for fraud, and fickle consumer attitudes is casting a grey light over this shining beacon of eco-apparel.

<< Cotton-industry officials say it is virtually impossible to tell organic cotton from the ordinary kind. The premium on organic cotton and an overstretched inspection system mean that “the market is absolutely ripe for fraud in organic,” says Mark Messura of Cotton Incorporated, an American trade group.

He is not alone in voicing scepticism about the long-term appeal of organic cotton. He suggests that the current surge of interest is driven more by retailers than consumers, whose fickle tastes might suddenly change. “This is the season's new black,” says Mr Messura. “Next year we'll be off to something else.” >>

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