Danish fashion retailer Bestseller says it has become the first brand group to use CmiA-Organic cotton in its collections, with a fully transparent supply chain from field to final product.
The group’s Name It and Selected brands are including CmiA (Cotton made in Africa)-Organic cotton in their autumn 2021 collections.
CmiA, an initiative of the non-profit Aid by Trade Foundation (AbTF), is one of the world’s leading standards for sustainably produced cotton, supporting smallholder farmers in a direct-to-farm approach.
The standard goes beyond regular ecological sustainability focusing on nature protection, Bestseller’s sustainable materials and innovation manager, Camilla Skjønning Jørgensen explains.
“It also includes social and economic criteria with improvement of livelihoods for farmers and their families at its core. They only work in Sub Saharan-Africa and with smallholder farmers, who are very vulnerable in terms of climate change and food supply, to name a few.
“Adding organic cotton practices on top of CmiA’s regular work makes this standard highly demanded, which is all the more reason that we are particularly pleased and proud to be the very first brand to offer CmiA-Organic products.”
Joan Søndergaard Nielsen, sourcing and sustainability manager at Name It, adds: “Name It has an ambition of using 100% organic cotton in our collections by 2025, but we find it extremely challenging to secure the quantities and the right premium through regular sourcing.
“Hopefully, engaging in more direct-to-farm organic projects such as CmiA-Organic can help encourage farmers to convert to organic cotton farming. Thereby supply will increase and get us one step closer to reaching our sustainability targets.”
The partnership with CmiA-Organic is facilitated by Bestseller’s Fashion FWD Lab, which focuses on new, low-impact and circular materials, better production, new business models and smarter ways of manufacturing.
“With the CmiA-Organic standard we see a truly holistically sustainable raw material with an African footprint. It is really great to see that our partnership with Bestseller has evolved in this direction, making it the first brand to use CmiA-Organic,” says Tina Stridde, managing director of Aid by Trade Foundation. “We now look forward to extending the CmiA-Organic programme with Bestseller and continue our encouraging collaboration.”
Earlier this month, Bestseller pledged to introduce cotton in the process of becoming organic – called in-conversion cotton – into its portfolio of more sustainable cotton.