HAKRO GmbH has launched its next sustainability project. The supplier of clothing for corporate fashion, work, leisure and sport has now signed a partnership agreement with Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) and will be buying CmiA-certified cotton in future. The cotton is produced in accordance with the CmiA certification without genetically modified seeds, harmful pesticides and artificial irrigation. It improves the working and living conditions of hundreds of thousands of smallholder cotton farmers and thousands of factory workers in Africa.
“Cotton made in Africa has won our support”, said Carmen Kroll, the managing partner of HAKRO. “The standard takes account of both social and ecological aspects. And by signing up we can play a part in stabilizing the cotton sector in Africa and improving the living and working conditions in the growing countries.”
Having recently launched a collection in organic cotton, the medium-sized enterprise has pledged commitment to Cotton made in Africa with a view to significantly increasing its proportion of sustainably produced natural fibers in the next few years. The enterprise sends the CmiA cotton to an independent production partner in Turkey which makes T-shirts, polo shirts, pull-on sweatshirts and zip-front sweatshirts for HAKRO. The company is subject to the conditions imposed by the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI).
Tina Stridde, Managing Director of the Aid by Trade Foundation, the umbrella organization of CmiA, appreciates new partnership, saying that “HAKRO shows that companies in the corporate fashion, work, leisure and sports branch of textiles can also increase their sustainability credentials with Cotton made in Africa and show their customers that they are committed to the cause. More and more companies with a focus on sustainability are demanding higher social and ecological standards of their workwear so we are pleased to have a prominent partner like HAKRO on board who will join us in our support for the smallholders in Africa and for a forward-looking approach to corporate fashion.”
As the largest initiative for sustainably produced cotton in Africa, Cotton made in Africa constitutes a sustainable basis for the worldwide textile supply chain. It puts a face to the smallholders at the first link of the fashion industry chain. Hundreds of thousands of smallholders are benefiting from agricultural and business training courses which help them to improve their yields and cultivation methods. Women are gaining greater independence in their social and occupational roles, and factory workers are enjoying improved working conditions. In return, companies are getting a sustainable raw material which protects human rights and conserves the natural Environment.
The family-run enterprise HAKRO, which was set up in 1987 as a limited liability company (GmbH), has its roots in the textile retail firm started up in 1969 by Schrozberg entrepreneur Harry Kroll (HaKro). The company specializes in high-end corporate fashion, workwear, leisurewear and sportswear. Customers can choose between 146 designs, 51 colors, 15 sizes and three fits in the current catalog – for women, men, children and unisex (T-shirts, polo shirts, sweatshirts, shirts, blouses, pullovers, cardigans and socks), and the clothes are sold by authorized stockists all over Europe. The whole collection is certified as meeting the “Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX”.
The company has seen strong growth in the last few years and achieved the best trading results in its history in 2016 with its 155-strong workforce. HAKRO sources its textiles from independent production partners in Turkey, Bangladesh, Laos, China and the Czech Republic. The quality management system is certified as conforming to ISO 9001. HAKRO has been a member of the UN Global Compact since 2009 and a member of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles since 2015. www.hakro.com