Why can you give back a smile to nature - with Cotton made in Africa? Cotton made in Africa produces 40% less greenhouse gases per kilogram of CmiA in comparison to conventional cotton. In trainings, smallholder farmers learn how to cultivate cotton in harmony with nature, and the environment even helps them. Jane Mbambu from Uganda is one of the smallholder farmers who cultivate CmiA certified cotton: “In our training groups, we learn how we can distinguish insects that are useful for our cotton from pests that are harmful for our cotton. If you know how they look like, this is very easy and helps us a lot. In nature, there are insects that protect our crops from pests in a very natural way. In former times, we could not distinguish the beneficial insects from pests, and our only solution was to fight against everything.“ You want to support and create impact yourself, connect with us on www.wearasmile.org #WearaSmile with @CottonmadeinAfrica!
By means of every single Cotton made in Africa product you support us in giving children in Africa the chance to get a school education. Cotton made in Africa protects children from dangerous child labor, initiates school projects and provides training to the farmers in order to protect children. Especially in rural Africa not self-evident. Also agricultural trainings and business tranings for the farmers have indirectly a huge impact for children. Rosalie from Cameroun is one of the CmiA farmers who speaks about the benefits she got out of the Trainings and which Impact this had for her and her children: “Because of the trainings the resulting profit allows me to pay the school fees for my children. This makes me particularly happy because my children used to live with their fathers, but they did not send them to school.”#WearaSmile with @cottonmadeinafrica. You want to support and create impact yourself, connect with us on www.wearasmile.org #WearaSmile with @CottonmadeinAfrica!
For over 10 years Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) has been working with people along the textile value chain - from the field to the point of sales. Together, they are working towards a situation where a sustainability strategy spawns a culture of sustainable consumption. All the more reason to give them the stage in the 2015 annual report for the 10th anniversary of the Foundation. The interviewed CmiA partners talk about challenges and opportunities in connection with an issue which could not be more urgent or more topical in view of environmental disasters and refugee crises.
Cotton made in Africa was established in 2005 with the aim of combining sustainability and profitability and thereby offering both smallholders and companies successful sustainable perspectives on their economic activities to date. The flight of hundreds of thousands of people to Europe and the increasing pressure on our ecosystems demonstrate that CmiA is still relevant after its foundation by Dr. Michael Otto in 2005. Sustainably produced raw materials are becoming more and more important for CmiA partner Stefano Caccia from the company Denim de l’Ile (DDI) in Mauritius which makes denim products for international brands. “Sustainability is currently the most important subject in the denim industry. Everyone is rethinking their production process and supply chain in relation to this subject,” he said. “CmiA is a great help to us in this respect. Demand from customers is increasing, we have an advantage over our competitors, and all at fair prices. We are delighted to see how sustainability is finally becoming “sexy”.”
In the financial year of 2015, 30 textile companies and brands together paid over EUR 1,000,000 as license fees in order to be supplied with CmiA cotton. Revenues from partnership contributions went up due to the growing worldwide network of CmiA partners. The money is used to finance the work of CmiA in the project regions.
Around 750,000 smallholders have now received agricultural, social and business management training in close cooperation with their partner, the Competitive African Cotton Initiative (COMPACI), and the cotton companies in Africa. This training is enabling them to achieve lasting effects through the increase in their yield and income. In addition, local projects in environment, empowerment of women, education and health will be funded through the new CmiA Community Cooperation Program. This was launched to mark the 10th anniversary of the Foundation with an endowment of 1 million euro from Dr. Michael Otto.
The annual report is available to download free of charge in German and English here.
Get to know from Fernand Sadou, who works for the CmiA certified Cotton Company Sodecoton in Cameroun, what changes have been realized for farmers through trainings - thanks to every single CmiA product: “Since we have been a partner of CmiA a lot has changed for us. In my opinion, the content of the trainings must be mentioned in the first place. Farmers have received training for better management to manage their fields. They have learned how to plan the season ahead in advance, calculate their income and revenues, and how they draw the balance of the last season. In addition, there is also a training module on nutrition, where they learn how to get a balanced diet and what advantages this offers for their family, especially the children. Consequently, they can manage their fields in a targeted manner. We only received positive feedback from our farmers to these new trainings. A second major change since the start of the CmiA partnership is that the earnings of our farmers have increased significantly. Previously they had an average of 800 kg per hectare and this season it will be about 1300 kg per hectare. Therefore, they have, of course, much more money than before.” You want to support and create impact yourself, connect with us on www.wearasmile.org #WearaSmile with @CottonmadeinAfrica!
For Cotton made in Africa (CmiA), the protection of valuable natural resources and a better life for smallholder farmers in Africa are our first priorities. We pursue these goals passionately. This is why we now launched our Wear a Smile campaign answering the question how each and everybody can be part and also wear and spread the smile in the world.
Wear a smile with Cotton made in Africa:
You get more than just a nice fashion-piece when you buy a piece of clothing with a Cotton made in Africa labelled product. We are working with about 30 textile companies and brands producing a diverse range of beautiful CmiA textiles for you. For the purchase of CmiA jeans and shirts, accessories or even bedding you can give yourself a special smile - just look for our little red Cotton made in Africa logo.
Make farmers wear a smile with Cotton made in Africa:
Instead of donating, we associate African smallholder farmers with companies on a level playing field. More than 695,000 cotton farmers and their families benefit from our commitment: smallholder farmers get better working conditions, children can go to school and female smallholder farmers are strengthened in their professional independence. You can make more than 5 million people in Africa wear a smile that makes them proud and independent of donations.
Give back a smile to nature with Cotton made in Africa:
Each CmiA product protects the environment and its natural ressources: no monocultures, no deforestation of rainforests, no genetically modified seeds, no dangerous pesticides. Only rainwater instead of irrigation - thereby Cotton made in Africa saves more than 500 liters of water per T-shirt. CmiA also helps to protect our climate, because CmiA Cotton emits 40% less greenhouse gases than conventionally produced Cotton - per kilogramm of cotton.
The main reason for you to smile:
With Cotton made in Africa, you make yourself and others happy, without paying or having to do anything else - except rewarding you with a nice piece of clothing.
Become part of the community and do not miss anything. Log in at wearasmile.org.
Since 2008, the Cotton made in Africa Standard has contributed to making sub-Saharan smallholder cotton production more sustainable. As of now, up to 700,000 smallholder cotton farmers in ten countries of sub-Saharan Africa have been certfied according to the CmiA standard. To continuously improve the CmiA standard, the AbTF has launched a standard revision process in 2015. We would now like to invite all interested parties to take part in the public consultation and give us feedback.
The certification according to CmiA criteria allows cotton companies to trade their lint cotton under the CmiA denomination. Retailers partnering with CmiA can use the consumer-facing CmiA label. To award CmiA sales certificates, the AbTF commissions independent and ISO accredited control bodies in sub-Saharan Africa to regularly conduct third-party verifications of all CmiA partners both on the agricultural production, on the first level of processing (ginnery) and management level of the partnering cotton companies. During these audits, the independent auditors check both compliance with Minimum Criteria and continuous improvement towards sustainability - measured against Development Criteria.
Since the CmiA Standard came into force in 2008, it has been continuously improved. In 2016, we are already at the revision of vol. 3.1 to CmiA Standard Vol. 4. For the CmiA standard revision process, the Aid by Trade Foundation has called together its Technical Advisory Group on Standard and Verification, which comprises about 20 members from all stakeholder groups - cotton producers, traders, retailers, auditors, donors and implementation partners as well as non-governmental organizations.
The first draft of CmiA Standard vol.4 has been commented through the Technical Advisory Group members in internal feedback loops starting in September 2015, as well as during a face-to-face meeting at the annual CmiA Stakeholder Conference in October 2015. The second round of consultation is again taking place internally within the Technical Advisory Group.
Here you can access the ISEAL public consultation platform and give us your feedback until August, 22nd 2016.