Cotton made in Africa welcomes Cooee as new partner. Cooee is a young label from UK that aims is to create fair, sustainable and every day clothing for children. They are producing their textiles in Uganda. It now teamed up with Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) to produce garments that are made from 100% CmiA certified cotton. The five-piece collection is going to be presented by the two founders Naomi Wells and Anna Hesemann at Bubble London next week, a children’s trade show. The garments are characterized by colourful, hand-painted prints to inspire children’s imagination. Find out more about the establishment of the brand, sustainability and the cooperation with Cotton made in Africa in the following interview.
Where did you meet?
Anna: Naomi is from the UK and I am from Germany but we met while living in Uganda. Both having young families, we were tired of seeing cheaply made clothes which exploited the people who made them and wanted to create our own brand using the wonderful natural materials available in Uganda to make fun and practical everyday clothes for children which ensured that the people who made them were treated fairly and paid fairly.
How did you come up with the name?
Naomi: As a child my mum regularly used the word Cooee to greet us when she picked us up from school. It always filled me with a sense of embarrassment but now I smile whenever I hear someone using the word, particularly when mum does. We hope it makes you smile when you hear it as much as we do.
What type of fabric is used to make your products?
Anna: We always use 100% CmiA certified African cotton. Cotton made in Africa is a brilliant organisation and we love to work with them because they cooperate with almost 700,000 smallholder cotton farmers across Africa to improve their living conditions and those of their children. Child labor, dangerous pesticides and genetically modified cotton are strictly forbidden. Smallholder farmers get a fair and timely payment and are trained in modern, efficient and sustainable cotton farming practices. This helps the farmers to generate higher yields and incomes, which in turn allows them to take care of their families.
Why is cotton so important?
Naomi: Cotton is a natural product grown in Uganda and throughout Africa. The main advantage is that it is breathable. Cotton allows moisture to be taken away from the body and to be absorbed in the material which is particularly important for active kids who like to run, skip and jump all day long. Not forgetting that cotton is super comfortable, stretchable, soft and won't irritate your skin. Furthermore, cotton has a high tensile strength, making it strong, durable and less likely to rip or tear. It is 30% stronger when wet withstanding many washings in hot water.
What makes Cooee different?
Anna: We created Cooee as an ethical company which wholeheartedly supports the chain of people that is involved in the process of making your kids clothes. By spending a large part of the year in Uganda where our clothes are produced, we personally ensure that the standards we speak for are adhered to. Working with one of the only fully vertically integrated manufacturers worldwide, we are truly able to follow who made the clothes that our kids end up wearing.