Cotton made in Africa

Contact details

  • Bramfelder Chaussee 105
  • 22177 Hamburg
  • Germany

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About Us

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Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) is an initiative combining sustainability with profitability for international textile companies and brands as well as African cotton farmers. By activating market forces we work to lay the foundation for a socially and ecologically sustainable cotton production in Sub-Saharan Africa and establish trade relationships between international textile companies and smallholder farmers on a level playing field. Therefore, CmiA builds up an alliance of partnering textile companies and brands that buys the sustainably grown cotton without up-charges, integrates it into the global textile value chains and pays a licensing fee to the foundation. The licensing fees paid by the demand partners are directly reinvested in the project countries to protect the environment and to secure fair working conditions for smallholder farmers and workers in cotton ginneries as well as improved living conditions for their families. A set of ecological, social and economic sustainability criteria are designed to achieve and regularly checked by independent organizations to secure this sustainable development. A small red label on the product shows the consumer that with his purchase he has done something particularly good for the people in the producing countries and for saving the planet.  Currently, CmiA works with about 700,000 smallholder farmers in 10 Sub-Sahara African countries. Family members included more than 5 million people are part of CmiA. In 2015, about 350,000 metric tons of ginned cotton have been CmiA-certified and 30 million CmiA textiles have been commercialized by partnering companies. Since the beginning many non-governmental organizations such as the WWF, governmental institutions like the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, international retailers or cotton traders have been involved in our work.

Cotton made in Africa in the textile value chain:

Cotton made in Africa is traded worldwide - without additional costs for the cotton itself – and offers two ways for integrating CmiA cotton into the international textile value chains: The Hard Identity Preserved (HIP) system provides full transparency throughout the entire textile value chain. The certified CmiA cotton can be completely traced on their way from the cotton field to the finished product. If more flexibility is needed, companies can also commit to a certain amount of CmiA cotton and integrate this amount into their cotton mix. Within this system, the cotton can be traced from spinning mill down to cotton growing area. Currently, more than 20 companies are involved in the so-called demand alliance - for example ASOS, Bestseller, the Otto Group, Tchibo, the Rewe Group or Celio*.

Range of services

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  1. Ecologically and socially sustainable cotton: Exclusion of child labor, irrigation and GMO seeds, usage of less toxic pesticides, support of community projects such as construction of schools, school canteens, boreholes, women’s cooperatives etc.

  2. Independent controls and transparency: Compliance with CmiA’s sustainability criteria is regularly checked as part of the verification process by independent organizations (AfriCert, EcoCert, Control Union). The results are published online and thus provide complete transparency.

  3. Social Business with impact: Currently 700,000 farmers in 10 African countries profit from the initiative (including dependents more than 5,000,000 people). The earnings from licensing fees are reinvested in the growing regions.

  4. Integration into textile value chains world-wide: The sustainable Cotton made in Africa cotton is constantly available without up-charges in all relevant global textile production markets. Renowned cotton traders, spinners and vertical producers deal with CmiA cotton worldwide.

  5. Know-how across the supply chain: CmiA’s Supply Chain Management supports partners to integrate the sustainable cotton without additional costs or additional lead-time into global textile value chains. If processed in the Hard Identity Preserved (HIP) System, the cotton is traceable down to the cotton bales.

  6. Reliability: Today around 30 international textile companies are partnering with CmiA (e.g. Puma, S.Oliver, Celio, Otto Group, Tom Tailor, Rewe Group or Tchibo)

  7. Stakeholder network: Cotton made in Africa has been working with governmental and non-governmental institutions in close partnership for years e.g. Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), WWF, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, CARE or C&A Foundation.

  8. Added value for communication and marketing: On-product labelling possible, no mandatory label, additional marketing at the POS, in public relations or corporate communication.


Exhibitor at the following trade fair

Heimtextil 2017

10.01.2017 - 13.01.2017 Hall: 8.0 Stand: F 44A