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Organic Products under the Microscope

Organic Products under the Microscope

You’d rather eat ecologically sound food, and the same is true for wearing clothes from ecologically sound production. But what is it that distinguishes organic threads from other fabrics? And how well do they sell? Let’s have a look!

We’re sure you’ve taken notice of our organic products when creating your own product line. 14 of our 95 apparel products are currently made of organic cotton. The label organic here expresses that the cotton stems from ‘controlled organic farming’.

How organic is the cotton?

These 3 criteria define organic cotton:

  • the plants are not genetically modified
  • no chemical pesticides or fertilizers are used
  • the cotton is harvested by hand and without the use of defoliants

Does organic stuff sell?

There’s no denying that eco-conscious thinking keeps getting stronger, but ‘organic’ is still a hallmark of luxury products. Organic cotton production constitutes a mere 1% of the global cotton production, so you may wonder: is it worth taking the plunge?

Just by taking the top sellers into consideration, the answer would have to be a clear ‘no’. T-shirts and sweaters in the premium and standard editions linger on atop our apparel pile, but organic cotton products keep coming on strong. In the past five years, their market share has tripled with some products and increased ninefold with others!

T-Shirts

The V-neck T-shirt by Stanley & Stella (for women and men) is the most popular organic cotton product in this category.

Two organic cotton T-shirts are available in Spreadshit’s T-shirt category. The organic T-shirt and the V-neck T-shirt are both available for men and women. Among women, the two articles accounted for 14% of last year’s market share of T-shirts sold in Shops. That’s a proud indicator considering the much cheaper competition of conventional T-shirts.

Cotton T-shirts from organic production sold in European Spreadshirt Shops per year (gender-specific sales, pro rata of the total quantity of women’s and men’s T-shirts)

Sweaters

The Sweatshirt by Stanley & Stella (Women) and Organic Hoodie (Men) are the most popular organic cotton products in this category.

Just like with T-shirts, Stanley & Stella stands for quality sweaters as well. Organic hoodies are enjoying an ever increasing popularity with Shop customers every year, and the success is not just due to quality fabrics as Stanley & Stella offer a trendy variety of heather tones and formfitting cuts.

Cotton hoodies and sweatshirts from organic production sold in European Spreadshirt Shops per year (gender-specific dales, pro rata of the total quantity of women’s and men’s jumpers)

As a final consideration, let’s examine a counter thesis. Are organic cotton products successful just because partners often include them in their assortment? Or do customers themselves choose them? The numbers of hoodie and sweatshirt sales on the Marketplace clearly points to a high demand among customers.

Cotton hoodies and sweatshirts from organic production sold on Spreadshirt’s European Marketplaces per year (gender-specific sales, pro rata of the total quantity of women’s and men’s jumpers)

What’s the best practice for organic products?

  • Organic cotton products are much more popular among women than among men
  • Baby products: bodysuits with short and long sleeves have been converted to organic cotton products without changing the price
  • Gift products (bibs, bags): relatives and friends are more willing to spend more on gifts and quality organic cotton

What’s your experience with organic products? Are your customers willing to pay more for quality?  We are looking forward to your comments!

6 comments Write a comment

  1. Still very sad that you took out the organic line and replaced the bags and other items for non organic. It ruined my Spreadshirt shop

  2. How do you spot the organic line to apply your design on in the shop? Is there a special filter, or label or something? Thanks!

    • Hi nikoline,

      If you are using the new partner area there is a filter you can use. It seems like you are using the old user area? Can you let me know your user ID then I can check.

      Thanks,
      Lena