Tag Archives: organic cotton

Organic Cotton Sales Up 35% in 2009

1 Jun


2009 survey from the Organic Exchange (OE) reports that despite the 2009 global economic turndown “global retail sales of organic cotton apparel and home textile products reached an estimated $4.3 billion, representing a 35 percent increase from the estimated $3.2 billion market in 2008.” In addition the figure is little different from the 40 percent annual average growth rate for organic cotton sales for 2001 to 2009.

These numbers are for the total industry of organic cotton of which promotional shirts and totes are a minor, yet growing, segment. It is interesting therefor that Anvil Knitwear, a supplier of apparel to the promotional industry, made the list of top ten buyers.  The report names the largest buyers of organic cotton as C&A (Belgium), Nike, Inc. (Oregon, USA), Walmart (Arkansas, USA), Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (California, USA), H&M (Sweden), Anvil Knitwear (New York, USA), Greensource Organic Clothing Co. (Washington, USA), Levi Strauss & Co. (California, USA), Target (Minnesota, USA), adidas (Germany), and Nordstrom (Washington, USA).

What is the big take away for the ecopreneurist from the survey? First that “the continued rapid expansion of the global organic cotton market was driven in large measure by consumer interest in ‘green’ products”, meaning there is a strong, growing, consumer demand for eco-friendly items. Second “companies increasingly became certified to traceability standards such as the OE Blended or OE 100 standard,” meaning the industry and suppliers are getting better at using third party processes to show their items to be what they claim them to be.

As summer approaches the promotional products industry will kick into high gear for tee shirt sales. Festivals, concerts, family reunions, summer sports leagues, vacation destinations, all are big consumers of printed tees. For those ecopreneurists looking to make the swtich into an organic tee the AnvilOrganic® line is a good place to start.

The Anvil 420 AnvilOrganic® Tee is thought by many to be the the work horse of the industry when it comes to organic promotional shirts, and likely goes a long way towards Anvil’s ranking in the Organic Exchange (OE) survey. New for 2010 Anvil has added two ring spun organics to their line, the 490 AnvilOrganic® Ring Spun Tee and 498 Ladies AnvilOrganic® Ring Spun Tee. With their softer touch both ring spun units are sure to be crowd pleaser’s this year. All three shirts come in a number of colors, while it is the NATURAL non-dyed tees that really scream eco-friendly.

If you are looking for USA made organic shirts, Bayside Manufacturing located in Anaheim, California, is producing a line of organic tee shirts under the name BAYSIDE ORGANIC. The shirts are pre-shrunk and made in the USA from 100% USA certified organic cotton. These are the first USA made mass market organic cotton tee shirts that I have come across in the industry, and I am very happy to have found them. The standard 4200 Organic Tee comes in S-4XL with the 4280 Organic Juniors Crewneck running XS – 3XL. Both styles come in eight colors, Black, Ocean Blue, Olive Green, Chocolate, White, Natural, Charcoal, Navy and Yellow.

If you are in the business and have questions about these organic tees please visit the website listed above to contact the manufacturer directly. You might also look to buy from a broker such as Marc Seiler of Bodek & Rhodes. If you are interested in printed organic shirts to promote your own business or event, contact your local promotional items vendor or email info@proformagreen.com for information and pricing.

Vantage Offers Pre-Designs On Earth Day Shirts; Just Add Your Name

19 Mar

This is a guest post by John Simonetta, owner of Proforma Simonetta Freelance, an eco-friendly promotional items consultancy (see proformagreen.com). John’s blogs are designed to keep us up to date on the “greening” of his industry.

Vantage Apparel is one of the leaders in our industry for eco-friendly apparel, with a special focus on organic cotton t-shirts and eco printing.

Vantage knows a lot of organizations want to make a big splash this year around Earth Day but also that some of those organizations may not have a budget for a big time design when it comes to organic cotton t-shirts and other apparel items.  So they are making it easy for you.

In a move I can only say is very ecopreneurial, Vantage is teaming up with distributors like Proforma to offer a full line of 20 plus Earth Day designs ready to be placed onto all nine of their organic cotton t-shirts and totes.

Schools, clubs, city departments, charities, businesses, etc., for any and all this is a great way for an Ecopreneurist to make a big splash without having to fill the entire swimming pool out of their own pocket.

If you are interested in viewing all the Earth Day pre-graphics in this program you can download the .pdf here. For more information on Vantage visit their website at vantageapparel.com or see the Vantage online catalog  located here.

Please note that the Earth Day pre-graphics program is not mentioned on the website or the online catalog, so if you want more information on the program, including pricing, please email info@proformagreen.com.

Or if you are in the promotional items business you can contact Gina Barreca, Director of Marketing for Vantage Apparel at ginab@vantageapparel.com.

Answers on Cotton: Gemline

29 Jan

This is a guest post by John Simonetta, owner of an eco-friendly promotional items consultancy (see proformagreen.com). John’s blogs are designed to keep us up to date on the “greening” of his industry.

As you know we really like the organic cotton totes from Gemline.

Well we often get questions about the source of this cotton and other organic cotton used in our industry so we decided to ask Gemline for some answers. Clif Jordan the Regional Manager (South West) for Gemline was nice enough to send some answers.

According to Clif the organic cotton for Gemline bags comes mostly from Pakistan and sometimes India. All cotton used by Gemline is fair trade product and is Certified Organic Cotton, which means a licensed third party international agency (in this case the Control Union headquartered in the Netherlands) certifies the cotton’s origin and its authenticity. Gemline also offers eco-friendly inks and provides more information on their inks on their website.

Although most bag construction is done overseas the imprinting is done in the United States, unless the order is large enough for a full overseas production, say 10,000+ units. Most orders are under 100 units.

If you want to contact Clif directly with questions on Gemline’s items his email is cjordan@gemline.com. The Gemline website also has details on many of their products, www.gemline.com. You can of course also contact me at info@proformagreen.com.

So the bottom line for Ecopreneurists is, if you have questions about your vendor’s sources ask them. If vendors can’t answer your questions, I suggest you move along to someone that can.

We have asked the same questions about organic cotton supplies to Norwood, Leeds and Debco Bag. We will post their responses – when we get them – as well.

Debco's Virtual Catalogs

31 Dec

This is a guest post by John Simonetta, owner of an eco-friendly promotional items consultancy (see proformagreen.com). John’s blogs are designed to keep us up to date on the “greening” of his industry.

We wrote about Gemline’s online green site with its virtual catalog. Well Debco has gone one better (make that three better) and posted three vitual catalogs, their 2008 GIFT BOOK, MAIN CATALOGUE, and GREEN BOOK. Looks like this is the way things are head in 2009, less paper printing, less gas used in shipping, so good for Debco.

Of course of these virtual catalog Ecopreneurists will be most interested in the GREEN BOOK which contains 56 virtual pages of products and green information, including a much appreciated glossary of terms.

We especially like Debco’s organic and natural cotton bags, however the catalog covers promotional items from bags to bamboo cutting boards to solar powered items. Continue reading

Holiday Stuff #2 – Organic Cotton

20 Nov

This is a guest post by John Simonetta, owner of ProformaGreen, an eco-friendly promotional items consultancy. John’s blogs are designed to keep us up to date on the “greening” of his industry.

A number of clients and readers have asked us about ideas for eco-friendly customer gifts and I wanted to write a couple of blogs talking about items that have done well in the past for clients or that are new for this year and doing well so far.

Our first blog was on BAMBOO. Now let us move to ORGANIC COTTON.

1) Organic Cotton Towels – Unbelievably soft and absorbent with natural colors like Stone Green, White and Natural Tan, these towels make great gifts. Embroidered with your company or organization’s logo expect to pay around $24 per unit. Towels work because they will end up in the home of your customer and likely be used for a long, long time. Organic cotton towels and robes also make good employee gifts.

2) Organic Market Bag Set – These heavy duty organic cotton bags look and feel great, so they have a high perceived-value but an honest price at $16 for the set, including placement of your logo.  Employees and customers will use the bags for a long, long time and they use them in public so each time your customer uses the bag in public your company or organization is on display. We also like the large print area on these bags. This is a lot of space to display your message and/or contact information. This market set helps the environment by reducing the need for plastic or paper shopping bags with this beautiful organic cotton set. The set includes a storage tote and 2 full-size grocery totes. Continue reading

Price Drop For Organic Cotton? Maybe. SanMar Takes Aim at AshCity Green Line

25 Sep

This is a guest post by John Simonetta, owner of ProformaGreen, an eco-friendly promotional items consultancy. John’s blogs are designed to keep us up to date on the “greening” of his industry.

SanMar, one of the largest shirt manufacturers in the US, just got into the eco-friendly apparel game in a big way.

The SanMar green site at http://www.sanmar.com/Green.html boasts 27 items, many that are eco-friendly versions of their very popular Port Authority band.

Port Authority is normally ranked #1 or #2 in the promotional market industry for sales. It is the shirt most Proforma offices recommend to clients.

SanMar also is offering bamboo shirts but as yet does not seem to have a product to go up against the e.c.o. Fleece items from AshCity, however I suspect they will come out with something to compete in this area.

AshCity offers in-house embroidery services. SanMar does not (of course Proforma Green can embroider any item from any supplier).

What does all this mean for the Ecopreneurist? Continue reading

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