International demand for Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) cotton continues to grow. New partners—including BRAX from Germany, Jolo Fashion Group from the Netherlands, and Shinsegae International from South Korea—are joining the CmiA initiative to promote sustainable cotton cultivation, protect the environment, and improve the working and living conditions of small-scale farmers and their families, currently numbering around one million.
Tina Stridde, the managing director of the Aid by Trade Foundation and of its CmiA initiative, is pleased with the new partnerships, saying, “Only with committed partners at our side can we advocate together for small-scale farmers in Africa, their families, and the responsible production of our raw materials now and in the future. Our recent growth shows that companies from around the world, whether small brands or global enterprises, can achieve their own sustainability goals through Cotton made in Africa and make them visible to their customers.”
“Cotton made in Africa has impressed us,” comments Shinsegae International Co-CEO and Head of Jaju division Lee Seock-Koo. “The standard addresses both social and ecological aspects of sustainable cotton production. This allows us to source our textiles sustainably and to offer our customers what they are increasingly looking for: a sustainable alternative to conventional goods.”
As one of the world’s leading initiatives for sustainably produced cotton in Africa, Cotton made in Africa represents a socially and environmentally responsible basis for the global textile chain. It gives a face to the small-scale farmers who form the bedrock of the fashion industry. Working in accordance with the Cotton made in Africa standard, some one million small-scale farmers from ten countries in Sub-Saharan Africa currently account for around 30 percent of African cotton production. According to the most recent study results, CmiA cotton has a significantly smaller ecological footprint than the global average. With greenhouse gas emissions at 13 percent below the global average for cotton cultivation, CmiA cotton also contributes less to climate change. Small-scale farmers benefit from agricultural and business training that enables them to improve their yields and cultivation methods. Beyond sustainable cotton production, Cotton made in Africa actively advocates for issues like healthcare, respect for children’s rights, and equal rights for men and women. This directly contributes to improved awareness of social issues in village communities. Factory workers in the ginneries, where cotton seeds are separated from the fibers by machine, benefit from improved working conditions. Consumers can identify these products through the Cotton made in Africa label. Each purchase represents a direct investment in improving living conditions and protecting our environment.
 Data for CmiA refer to Sphera (2021) – CmiA Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Published online at cottonmadeinafrica.org. Retrieved from: ‘https://cottonmadeinafrica.org/wp-content/uploads/CmiA_LCA-Study_2021.pdf [Online Resource].
Global averages are drawn from data published in The life cycle inventory & life cycle assessment of cotton fiber & fabric (Cotton Inc, 2017).
About the Aid by Trade Foundation (AbTF) & Cotton made in Africa (CmiA)
The Cotton made in Africa initiative was founded by Dr. Michael Otto in 2005. Established by the Hamburg-based Aid by Trade Foundation (AbTF), Cotton made in Africa is an internationally recognized standard for sustainably produced cotton from Africa, connecting African small-scale farmers with trading companies and fashion brands throughout the global textile value chain. The initiative’s objective is to employ trade rather than donations to offer help for self-help in order to improve the living conditions of around one million cotton farmers and their families in Sub-Saharan Africa while protecting the environment. The small-scale farmers benefit from training and better working conditions, and additional social projects enable their children to attend school. Female small-scale farmers are supported in pursuing professional and social independence.
Source and Image:cottonmadeinafrica.org