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New partners, continued growth for Cotton made in Africa

By Simone Preuss


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Cotton made in Africa / Aid by Trade Foundation

International demand for Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) cotton continues to grow. German fashion brand Brax, Jolo Fashion Group from the Netherlands and fashion and lifestyle brand Shinsegae International from South Korea have recently joined 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.

“Cotton made in Africa has impressed us. 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,” explained Lee Seock-koo, co-CEO and Head of the Jaju division at Shinsegae International, in a press release.

With around one million smallholder farmers from currently ten countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Cotton Made in Africa is one of the world’s most important initiatives for sustainably produced cotton in Africa. Currently, around 30 percent of African cotton production already complies with the CmiA standard.

Brax, Jolo Fashion Group and Shinsegae join CmiA initiative

“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,” commented Tina Stridde, managing director of the Aid by Trade Foundation and its CmiA initiative.

CmiA cotton has a significantly smaller environmental footprint than the global average, according to the 2021 Sphera study “CmiA Life Cycle Assessment”. When it comes to climate change, CmiA cotton emits 13 percent less greenhouse gases, which is below the global average for cotton cultivation. This was found in the 2017 Cotton Inc study “The life cycle inventory & life cycle assessment of cotton fibre & fabric”.

Small-scale farmers also 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 fibres by machine, also benefit from improved working conditions. Consumers can identify these products through the Cotton made in Africa label and with their purchase, invest in improving living conditions and protecting the environment.

Aid by Trade Foundation
Cotton made in Africa
Jolo Fashion Group