C&A, one of Europe’s leading fashion groups, today joins the Cotton made in Africa initiative’s Demand Alliance. In 2012 the company plans to take up 1,000 tonnes of sustainably produced African cotton for its textile products. This additional demand supports the initiative in improving the living conditions of some 240,000 smallholder farmers and their families in Benin, Burkina Faso, Zambia, Malawi and Ivory Coast.
The Cotton made in Africa initiative thus gains an important partner and further strengthens its international Demand Alliance. C&A is not only a very strong brand but also a company that places great importance on sustainable and responsible business. “We’re happy to respond to our customers’ demand for fashion produced in a socially and environmentally sustainable way”, says Phil Chamberlain, Head of Sustainable Business Development at C&A. “Cotton made in Africa offers us a great opportunity to use a high-value raw material with added social value in our textiles.” With this sustainably produced cotton, C&A widens its already extensive engagement in the organic cotton sector. In 2012 it plans to take up 1,000 tonnes of African cotton; in 2013, 1,500 tonnes and in 2014, 2,000 tonnes of Cotton made in Africa are to be processed into C&A textiles.
“Rather than sending financial donations to Africa we’re being proactive in helping create stable demand on the global market for sustainably produced African cotton”, is how Tina Stridde, Managing Director of the Aid by Trade Foundation, explains the initiative’s approach. “Gaining C&A as a Demand Alliance Partner is a great success for us on the European market.” Cotton made in Africa provides participating smallholder farmers with cultivation methods that both conserve the environment and raise crop yields, while providing training and education for adults and children. Besides C&A the Otto Group, PUMA, Anvil and Tchibo are also Demand Alliance Partners.