The ATAKORA Fördergesellschaft is proud to present its new one-stop shopping service Fashion for Teams. Fashion for Teams is aimed at companies, clubs and organizations which are looking for a simple and straightforward way to order sustainable textiles and thereby foster a sense of commitment - both in their own team and along the production chain all the way back to the raw material.
Fashion For Teams offers the opportunity to order sustainable textiles in a simple and straightforward way and is committed to sustainable production from the raw material to the end product. The products bearing the Fashion for Team label are made exclusively in selected factories in accordance with international standards, such as BSCI, SA 8000 and WRAP. A further requirement in respect of the products is the demand for sustainable raw materials conforming to the Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) standard or another label with sustainability credentials.
"This new service we are offering is greatly helping to make team clothing sustainable right back at the point of selecting the raw material. Naturally we also take account of commercial aspects in the wider process," says Christian Barthel, Director of ATAKORA Fördergesellschaft and expert in supply chain management. "Fashion for Teams is our solution for all teams which attach importance to sustainable textiles - whether for the next tour, the next marathon or for staff events. With over 20 years of experience in the international procurement markets, we can offer a professional service which is for a good cause," adds Barthel.
The proceeds from Fashion for Teams are used in the spirit of social business in support of the people and of the protection of nature at the first link of the textile chain - directly benefiting the smallholders in Africa and their families and being invested in the Aid by Trade Foundation. This is also in line with the philosophy of the organization Welthungerhilfe that is already working with Fashion for Teams. "When we choose T-shirts for our staff and volunteers, we look for fair production conditions and sustainably produced cotton," explained Dr. Till Wahnbaeck, CEO of Welthungerhilfe, "which is why we opted for Fashion for Teams."
Fashion for Teams is the latest product of ATAKORA Fördergesellschaft GmbH. Since its inception in 2005, the ATAKORA Fördergesellschaft (GmbH) has been supporting the aims of the Aid by Trade Foundation. It is responsible for establishing and managing an alliance of textile companies like OTTO, Tchibo, Ernsting’s family and the Rewe Group which is integrating the Cotton made in Africa cotton in its international flow of goods, raising its profile in the end product for the customer to see and, through the payment of the license fees, helping Africa to help itself through trade.
Fashion for Teams
Fashion for Teams is a service provided by the ATAKORA Fördergesellschaft which was founded in 2005. It offers teams a high-quality mail order and delivery service for textiles sourced from sustainable production from the raw material to the end product. It is possible to order individual products - with style and team spirit. The proceeds from Fashion for Teams are invested responsibly, adopting the principles of social business and benefiting the Aid by Trade Foundation and its Cotton made in Africa initiative for the protection of the environment and the improvement of living conditions of African cotton farmers. www. fashionforteams.com/en/
Cotton is an annually renewable resource, a fibre with and in which people feel comfortable. Cotton has been spun for millennia and industrially processed for more than 250 years. Can cotton be both natural and high-tech at the same time? What are the current high-tech aspects of cotton con-sumption? Can we have high-tech textiles from natural fibre? The International Cotton Conference Bremen looks at cotton from cultivation right through to textile products. It unites the latest research with its practical use.
These will be some of the focal points in 2016:
- What are the new directions between classical cotton growing and transgenic modification and what possibilities do they provide us?
- Textile architecture and finishing: What innovative processes and products are being developed?
- What directions are possible in responsible crop protection?
In Bremen Bremen Cotton Exchange will provide the answers: Analyses, findings, research results, innovations and solutions will be presented and discussed. New for this Conference will be the Break-Out Sessions, which will extend the scientific character of the Confer-ence and at the same time provide a firework of subjects for everyone. In Keeping with tradition, the 33rd International Cotton Conference Bremen will take place from 16th to 18th March 2016 at the medieval Town Hall in the Hanseatic City of Bremen, Germany. The Bremen Conference is a unique meeting opportunity for people from all sides of the cotton business, from the cotton seed producer to the retailer. Meet-ings of various international organizations such as ICAC, ITMF and CICCA also contribute to the Conference, as well as social events such as the famous “Bremer Abend”.
From fashion to sporting and lifestyle - every week our partner Tchibo offers a new world of products to its consumers. Not only the quality values high for Tchibo. The company is committed to ensure that the production does not harm people and the environment. This raises many questions: What are the raw materials used for products? What is the impact of the production on the environment? How do the people who produce the raw materials for the products live, and what are the conditions under which the products are manufactured?
As a family company Tchibo takes responsibility seriously and has incorporated aspects of sustainable development into its business strategy since 2006. Therefore, they constantly pursue their goal of 100% sustainability for their business and rely on proven standards such as Cotton made in Africa. To know the standard more in detail, Mr. Coffeebean follows the red thread. In the clip down below, he is having a closer look on Cotton made in Africa:
The people in the countries of cotton production in Africa and the environment we are active in are the central focus of our work. That is why our commitment extends beyond the sustainable cultivation of cotton and why we launched the CmiA Community Cooperation Program in 2015. There is backing for projects in education, health and environment and for initiatives in support of women. Consequently, the Program builds on the successes of the cooperation projects begun in 2009.
All projects of the CmiA Community Cooperation Program are developed by verified local CmiA partners in cooperation with the village communities on the basis of a need analysis. A board of expert advisors meets twice a year in order to select the projects for funding. For more information please visit our project site or get in contact with us. An example what has already been realised within one project can be found down below:
According to the results of the African Economic Outlook 2015, 60 percent of the African population is employed in agriculture, including the cotton industry. The sector generates around 25 percent of global gross national product. For the most part it is dependent on exports. African cotton supply is increasing, although profits from the cultivation of cotton are stagnating and yields are below average. We discussed this with Christian Barthel, in his capacity as Director of Supply Chain Management of the Cotton made in Africa Initiative (CmiA).
COTTON REPORT: MR BARTHEL, LOOKING AHEAD TO THE COMING YEARS, WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE FOR AFRICA?
Christian Barthel: The population in Africa will triple by 2050. Development through the modernisation of local economies, including the agricultural sector, is essential. Africa exports a large part of its raw materials. This is also the case with cotton. An essential task is to promote a process of industrialisation in cotton growing countries in the direction of downstream products such as spinning and weaving, or even clothing. More production plants near where the cotton is grown would lead to more employment opportunities and sources of income for local people.
IN AFRICA, THE YIELDS PER COTTON ACREAGE ARE STILL COMPARATIVELY LOW. WHAT HAVE YOU ACHIEVED TO MAKE CMIA COTTON MORE PROFITABLE?
Initial studies have shown that the farmers who grow their cotton according to CmiA criteria generate around 20 percent higher yields. On top of that CmiA cotton ensures timely and transparent payment, pre-financing of inputs and fair working conditions in the gins. With our projects we are now working in 10 African countries in the sub-Saharan region. Cotton verified under the CmiA standard is likely to account for just under 25 percent of the supply from sub-Saharan Africa. From 2008 until the end of 2015, CmiA licensed products will have generated license revenue of around EUR 6 million to invest for the benefit of African farmers and their families.
HOW DO YOU ACHIEVE THIS?
On the one hand, we achieve this with the establishment of an alliance of textile companies that integrate CmiA cotton into their chains and thus build solid and long-term trade relations with Africa. On the other hand we provide intensive and permanent training measures in cotton farming or in business management knowledge that will help them control their income and expenditure. In addition, modern, efficient and environmentally friendly farming practices help to reduce their spending, thereby increasing revenues. For example, we focus on measures of watchful, preventative, but also actively engaging pest management. Smallholders learn to distinguish pests from beneficial organisms and to increasingly use biological pest control methods such as molasses traps. Pesticides of the Rotterdam Convention, Stockholm list, WHO classes 1a and b are completely forbidden in CmiA.
IN MARKETING THE PRODUCT, THE CONSISTENT QUALITY OF THE COTTON AVAILABLE FOR PROCESSING PLAYS AN ESSENTIAL ROLE. HOW DO YOU CONTRIBUTE TO THIS DURING CULTIVATION?
At the consumer level, CmiA is perceived as a sustainability label, but in the B2B market it is seen as a product with a certain quality. In the marketing it is clear that we offer hand-picked cotton. It has a staple length of between 27 - 29 millimetres. We therefore offer a quality that is very well suited for use in the mass market. Because the cotton is picked by hand, we recommend that the mills ensure thorough cleaning before their further processing. At the same time, our training in cultivation means that contamination by foreign bodies is reduced. In addition, there are projects of partial mechanisation running at harvest time.
WHAT ARE THE REASONS FOR DOING WITHOUT THE USE OF GMO COTTON?
Firstly, when selling our cotton we are a European-styled initiative and for European consumers, sustainability and genetic engineering are irreconcilable opposites. Many of our demand partners also view the issue very critically. There is still too little known about the long-term effects of the use of GM seed and whether it brings long-term economic benefits to farmers. We have therefore decided to go our own way and to achieve increases in quality and economic yields using other methods.
WHY IS BUILDING UP A TEXTILE AND CLOTHING INDUSTRY ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT FOR COTTON IN AFRICA?
It is important to also process a portion of the cotton produced in Africa in the producing countries themselves, so that added value ranging from raw materials to the final product is created within the continent. This leads to growth, both on the domestic market as well as in worldwide exports. African products could increase their share in international supply chains due to attractive production costs. This is important especially in the sub-Saharan region. The first initiatives for this can be seen in Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya. With Cotton made in Africa, we can also create a local and readily available sustainable basis for a completely African product. The current challenge is to build up the necessary infrastructure. Here, we are just at the beginning. We assume that the development will take about another three to five years.
WHAT DO YOU CONTRIBUTE IN THE AREA OF SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT?
We advise partners in the cost-neutral integration of CmiA cotton in their procurement channels and the optimum use of its products. This is done, for example, in the form of training for employees in purchasing departments and in the import offices of organisations abroad. In addition, there is training for spinning mills, textile merchants and textile and clothing manufacturers. This is carried out in relevant procurement markets such as China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria and also in Germany. Thus, we support companies operatively in achieving their sustainability goals. This helps licensees considerably in saving additional costs. This is very important for use in the mass market. There is no elaborate certification of the entire textile chain in Cotton made in Africa. If companies wish, CmiA can provide full traceability in the textile chain back to the cotton bales. To continue to promote the issue of sustainable raw materials and supply chains, we are an active member of the German Textile Alliance. Here, Cotton made in Africa is recognised as a standard with which companies can put their textile chain on a sustainable basis.
THANK YOU FOR THE INTERVIEW!
With thanks to Bremen Cotton Exchange for making the interview available.
Source: Bremen Cotton Report Nr. 41/42 - 22. October
Throughout the year, the Aid by Trade Foundation is engaged in various events and stakeholder meetings to inform about its Cotton made in Africa initiative, present its work and discuss about developments and future strategies. Here we would like to inform you about future events that concern the large range of our work - from cotton production over the supply chain management up to the retail market. We are looking forward to meeting you.
- 12.-15.01. Heimtextil Messe Frankfurt, Germany
- 15.-18.02. Texworld Paris - CmiA Conference 16.02. 14h30
- 16.-18.03. Bremer Baumwollbörse Conference Bremen, Germany (by invitation only)
- 12.05. "The Certification of Agricultural Products as a Key Driver of Sector Transformation" by GIGA with CmiA, WWF and Welthungerhilfe
28.06.-01.07. CmiA and Fashion for Teams @ Fashion Week Berlin (Greenshowroom & Ethical Fashion Show)
- 21.-23.7. TexWorld New York City USA
- 21.-22.7. Premiere Vision New York City, USA
- 08.2015 CmiA Workshop on Child Labour, Ivory Coast (by invitation only)
- 03.-05.08. CmiA Supply Chain Management Workhop, Morocco (by invitation only)
- 01.09. CmiA Workshop on bio-intensive IPPM / botanical pesticides Mwanza, Tanzania (by invitation only)
- 03.09. CmiA Workshop on bio-intensive IPPM / botanical pesticides Lusaka, Zambia (by invitation only)
- 07.09. CmiA Workshop on GAP Picture Block (East Africa Version) Lusaka, Zambia (by invitation only)
- 21.09. Africa Business Communities Networking Event Hamburg, Germany
- 29.09. Conference (Südwind/Clean Clothes Campaign): "Hard work für soft fibers. Approaches to overcome labor rights violations in cotton production." Düsseldorf, Germany
- 08.10. AFCOT Meeting Deauville, France
- 20.10. CmiA & COMPACI 9th Stakeholder Conference Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (by invitation only)
- 21.-23.10. ORIGIN AFRICA Addis Ababa, Ethiopia