Consumers have long sought high-quality products made from materials that contribute to a healthy home. Over the past several years, customers have proactively searched for sustainably produced items with a shallow environmental footprint. Textiles made from organic cotton are one such example, at once easy on the earth and offering reduced exposure to toxin and allergens for consumers and farm workers alike.

Organic cotton is no longer a niche product. It is widely accessible and sought after by end users across demographics. Most large chains stock this material and similar products in the segment in order to remain relevant. To set themselves apart, department stores can develop custom bedding lines made from this material. This is best achieved in partnership with an organic cotton bedding manufacturer that focuses on superior sourcing and trendsetting style.

Consumer Interest in Sustainable Bedding

The interest in organic cotton has come about as consumers care about their personal health, the welfare of the environment and the well-being of agricultural workers. Last year, Adweek quoted a retail analyst who said customers will pay a premium of 10 to 15 percent for ethically produced clothing. That trend extends to home textiles such as bedding, where consumers are examining more closely the fabrics they use on a day-to-day basis.

Organic cotton typically follows strict regulations that apply to the full cycle of agricultural production. An organic farming operation takes into account the entirety of the local ecosystem including the soil and efficient management of pests. The lack of chemicals in this process means plants have less exposure to non-natural additives, toxins that remain with the raw material as it is made into a finished consumer product. As well, the farmers who work those crops are not continually in contact with potentially harsh chemicals.

At the consumer level, people choose organic textiles to support this environmental movement. However, there are personal health motivations as well. In a CalState paper exploring motivations to purchase green fashion, people said green products prevented skin irritation and overall health problems. Another academic study published in the Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management found the motivation was to support one’s self-image as an eco-friendly consumer.

Manufacturers Predict Future Trends

Since these studies go back a few years — the JFMM piece was published in 2009 — they provide evidence that demand for these products has not abated over the past decade. Retailers should adopt organic cotton and other green products to stay on trend and prepared for future ethical movements.

Indeed, organic cotton bedding manufacturers have discovered the fabric is on point with emerging demand for recycled, “wellness” oriented bedding that is both functional and benign for the health-conscious consumer. Sustainable textiles like bamboo, cotton and cork are finding their place at the head of the curve when it comes to bedding trends.

As retailers are well aware, the source and components of organic cotton are only two aspects of its appeal. It is also an ideal fabric to use for the latest style trends in the look, feel and design of bedding. Summer 2018 home textiles are focusing on artisanal creations, weaves, waffle designs and embroidery. Abstract natural prints that recall the beauty of the outdoors are what all retailers have on the shelves for this year. These style trends have less impact when combined with other, non-natural materials.

Customization Offers Department Stores An Advantage

Stocking the most recent trends in home textiles is essential for any retailer. To distinguish themselves from competitors, however, most retailers strive to demonstrate innovation and a unique sense of style. It’s a crucial part of developing and maintaining brand identity, as well as bringing in new customers to the franchise.

That’s where organic cotton bedding manufacturers can offer an advantage. By pairing their specialized knowledge of home textile trends with a service model that works directly with retailers, they can develop bedding their customers love. Retailers often strive for exclusivity because it’s one of the ways they can set themselves apart from the pack. A short-run, high-quality manufacturer can offer them that opportunity for exclusive lines and, as a result, for brand distinction.

Organic cotton bedding manufacturers give retail chains an agile production model that responds quickly to changing needs in the market. While one can be assured that demand for environmentally friendly textiles will stay consistent for some time, moods may shift in terms of the look and feel of those products. A custom manufacturer with a rapid turnaround helps retailers get new items on the shelves — in-store and online — while competitors remain dependent on lengthy production cycles.

Meeting the Demand for Ethical Home Goods

Consumer interest in knowing the origins of their home products stems from an interest in environmental protection and personal health improvement. Retailers are best able to meet this consumer demand when they understand these underlying motivations and how they work in conjunction with other style trends.

Department stores should seek to work with manufacturing partners who specialize in this specific line of goods. That way, they can benefit from the partner’s in-depth knowledge of what consumers are looking for and why. As trends shift and change, organic cotton bedding manufacturers can pivot appropriately, helping retailers to remain relevant and trustworthy in the minds of consumers.

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