Cotton made in Africa Joins Sustainable Clothing Action Plan

26.06.2016

CmiA joins the UK’s Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP) to actively support the change within the textile supply chain and work together on a more sustainable textile industry in the UK. As part of the SCAP 2020 Commitment retailers and brands can reduce their carbon, waste and water footprint of clothing by sourcing CmiA certified cotton.

Cotton is the most widely used raw material for global textile production and can have a large environmental impact if it is not produced in a sustainable way. Cotton made in Africa promotes sustainable production and makes a significant contribution to environmental protection due to its environmentally friendly growing and processing methods. “CmiA offers retailers and brands in the UK the unique chance to adhere to their commitment to SCAP to reduce their carbon and water footprint by 15% by 2020 due to CmiA’s proven track record in producing much lower carbon and water impacts. The new cooperation between SCAP and CmiA is a great opportunity for more sustainability in the textile supply chain for UK retailers and brands”, says Abi Rushton, Associate Director of the Aid by Trade Foundation in the UK. More than 50 organizations including retailers such as Asos, Ted Baker, Arcadia Group, New Look, John Lewis and Tesco have already signed up to SCAP, which is led by WRAP, the UK’s resource efficiency experts.

Smallholder farmers who grow cotton according to the Cotton made in Africa standard do not use any artificial irrigation and exclusively practice rain fed agriculture. CmiA cotton saves more than 2,100 liters of water per kilogram of cotton fiber compared to the global average. CmiA partner retailers can save up to four bath tubs of water per one single t-shirt by using CmiA cotton instead of conventional cotton. Additionally, CmiA farmers learn good agricultural practices, increase the use of natural fertilizers by e.g. building compost pits, do not use highly toxic pesticides in accordance with international conventions and harvest by hand. As a result, CmiA cotton emits up to 40% fewer greenhouse gas emissions per kilo of cotton fiber than conventional cotton. These are the results of a study on the ecological footprint of Cotton made in Africa cotton, conducted by PE International.

“We are pleased about the cooperation with SCAP and are eager to take an active part in SCAP’s aim to reduce resource use and secure recognition for corporate performance by helping SCAP hit the sector-wide targets of reducing carbon, water and waste by 15% by 2020. Together, we offer UK retailers and brands, which are looking for a sustainable raw material, a simple solution with a major impact for their ecological footprint“, concludes Tina Stridde, Managing Director of the Aid by Trade Foundation.

“We are delighted that Aid by Trade Foundation has joined SCAP. More sustainable forms of cotton such as Cotton made in Africa represent a significant opportunity for clothing retailers and brands to drive reductions in their carbon, water and waste footprints”, concludes Sarah Clayton, Head of Products & Services, WRAP.

About Cotton made in Africa

Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) is an initiative of the Aid by Trade Foundation (AbTF) which helps people to help themselves through trade in order to improve the living conditions of cotton farmers and their families in sub-Saharan Africa. Smallholders from Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe are currently participating in CmiA. Training courses teach the cotton farmers modern, efficient and environmentally-friendly cultivation methods which help them to improve the quality of their cotton, generate higher yields and therefore earn a better income for them and their families. For more information on Cotton made in Africa please visit: http://www.cottonmadeinafrica.org/en.

About SCAP
SCAP’s ambition is to improve the sustainability of clothing across its lifecycle. By bringing together industry, government and the third sector we aim to reduce resource use and secure recognition for corporate performance by developing sector-wide targets. The Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP) is led by WRAP – the UK’s resource efficiency experts. For more information on WRAP please visit www.wrap.org.uk or follow us on Twitter – @WRAP_UK. For more information on the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan please visit: www.wrap.org.uk/content/sustainable-clothing-action-plan-1