You deal into a very niche segment of Organic textiles. How do you find current movements in this field, and how is India placed in this segment?
When we got started working in Organic Textiles back in 2005, there were hardly any players in the industry. A couple of mills in India and may be a couple in Turkey were processing this fabric predominantly as a small percent blend with regular cotton for big brands like Nike, who wanted to perhaps contribute to the environment in their own way.
Things have, however, changed over the last 7 years. The industry has at times grown over 70% annually and a number of companies, industry experts, certifying agencies, and processors in the entire value chain have emerged. We too have hung on to our original idea of manufacturing certified organic cotton products.
With this growth and perhaps a lucrative opportunity for some, the word “Organic” has been abused to quite an extent. A lot of people don’t know what Organic means or the difference between Natural and Organic, or even the concept of sustainable. Just because it is the buzz word around, they use it.
This is where third party certification agencies bring in some sanity. They try to certify the entire value chain, so by the time you get your t-shirt from the local organic store in British Columbia, the cotton, the dyes, the knitting, the garmenting, the printing, and the final product have all passed through a chain of documents wherein if the end consumer wants, can track which farm produced the cotton for their comfy t-shirt.
Us Indians may not have been exposed to the Organic Cotton at the consumer level, but at the industry level, India is the largest producer of Organic Cotton in the World. And, the output is growing.
As consumers in India, we are still absorbing the onslaught of brands selling the regular stuff, so sustainable apparel would probably have to become a more mainstream product. Another development which seems to be quite apparent globally is that “Organic” alone may not be a selling point anymore. Consumers are demanding that the garment be more design oriented, and have other aspects to it than just being made from Organic Cotton.
Published on: 28/03/2012
DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.